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Lycoming  County, 









THAT  portion  of  Lycoming  couaty  lying  north  of  Muncy  Hills,  and  westward 
along  the  river  to  the  Indian  lands  above  Lycoming  creek,  was  the  theater  of 
many  sanguinary  conflicts  during  the  Colonial  and  Revolutionary  periods,  and  in 
that  territory  there  is  scarcely  a  square  mile  that  was  not  baptized  in  fire  and  blood. 
Hostile  bands  of  savages  frequently  descended  from  the  north,  killed  and  scalped 
scores  of  settlers,  carried  many  into  captivity  who  were  unable  to  escape,  destroyed 
their  improvements,  and  burned  their  cabins.  It  was  here  that  the  great  panic, ,  or 
"Big  Runaway,"  occurred  in  1778,  which  stands  without  a  parallel  in  the  annals  of 
pioneer  settlements. 

The  work  of  writing  the  History  of  Lycoming  County  was  entrusted  to  John  F. 
Meginness.  It  involved  the  examination  of  hundreds  of  official  letters  and  reports 
found  in  the  archives  of  the  State,  and  the  consultation  of  uumeroas  authorities  and 
musty  court  records,  but  he  addressed  himself  to  the  task  with  alacrity,  and  after  a 
year's  hard  work  finished  the  general  history  embraced  in  the  present  volume.  His 
long  experience  in  journalistic  and  historical  effort  was  a  guarantee  to  the  public 
that  the  work  would  be  faithfully  performed,  and  it  is  believed  that  he  has  made  it 
as  thorough,  exhaustive,  and  accurate  as  possible. 

The  Aboriginal,  Colonial,  and  Revolutionary  periods  appear  in  consecutive  order, 
and  the  history  of  the  struggle  for  separation  from  Northumberland  and  the  erec- 
tion of  Lycoming  county,  which  commenced  in  1786  and  lasted  until  1795,  is  given 
for  the  first  time,  together  with  an  explanation  of  the  influences  which  operated  to 
defeat  the  new  county  scheme  for  so  many  years.  A  complete  enumeration  of  the 
taxable  inhabitants  of  the  original  townships,  in  the  very  beginning  of  the  nine- 
teenth century,  is  also  given.  It  was  discovered  among  the  rubbish  in  the  garret 
of  the  State  Capitol,  and  was  never  printed  before.  An  exhaustive  history  of  our 
early  courts  and  the  erection  of  the  first  public  buildings,  of  the  legal  and  medical 
professions,  of  religious  organizations  and  the  progress  of  education,  of  the  city  of 
Williamsport,  and  of  all  boroughs  and  townships,  is  written  with  care  and  fidelity. 
A  complete  roster — the  first  ever  compiled — of  all  the  civil  officers  from  1795  to  1891, 
is  given,  together  with  all  State  Representatives,  Senators,  and  members  of  Congress 
during  that  time.  Every  postofiice,  where  located,  the  date  of  its  establishment,  and 
the  names  of  all  postmasters  to  the  present  iime,  wiU  be  found  in  the  reviews  of 
townships  and  boroughs.  There  are  to-day  about  eighty  postofiices  in  Lycom- 
ing county,  or  five  more  than  there  were  in  the  whole  United  States  when  Benja- 
min Franklin  was  made  the  first  Postmaster  General! 

The  geological  matter  was  prepared  by  Abraham  Meyer,  of  Cogan  House  town- 
ship, who  for  many  years  has  devoted  much  time  to  a  thorough  study  of  the  geology 


of  the  county,  and  it  contains  valuable  information  relating  to  the  rock  formations, 
soil,  minerals,  etc.,  and  in  some  instances  upsets  the  theories  of  the  State  geologists. 
The  military  chapter,  prepared  by  J.  J.  Galbraith  of  Williamsport,  with  the  assist- 
ance of  ex-Mayor  W.  N.  Jones,  both  veterans  of  the  civil  war,  shows  the  names  of 
the  men  Lycoming  county  furnished  to  aid  in  putting  down  the  Great  Rebellion. 
Tor  assistance  in  the  collection  of  historical  data  the  author  tenders  his  thanks  to 
Eev.  M.  A.  Turner,  Washington,  D.  C. :  W.  H.  Egle,  M.  D.,  State  Librarian,  Harris- 
burg;  E.  H.  McCormick,  Watsontown;  J.  M.  M.  Gernerd  and  C.  D.  Eldred,  Muucy; 
H.  W.  Petrikin,  Montoursville;  D.  A.  Martin,  DuBoistown,  and  J.  H.  McMinn, 
Williamsport.  He  is  also  indebted  for  the  sympathy,  encouragement,  and  moral 
support  of  his  editorial  brethren  of  the  press  throughout  the  West  Branch  valley; 
and  hundreds  of  others,  too,  who  encouraged  the  work  by  their  voice,  influence,  and 
patronage,  are  cordially  thanked  by  the  editor  and  publishers  for  the  valuable  aid 
thus  rendered. 

The  biographical  department  of  the  work  will  be  found  one  of  its  most  valuably 
features.  It  was  prepared  under  the  immediate  direction  of  the  jjublishers,  and 
contains  a  large  amount  of  information  relating  to  the  ancesti-y  and  history  of  fami- 
lies residing  in  the  county.  Li  every  instance  the  sketch  was  submitted  to  the  sub- 
ject or  family  for  correction,  and  if  errors  are  foimd  the  responsibility  rests  on  those 
whose  duty  it  was  to  point  them  out.  Information  embodied  in  biographical  sketches 
is  always  valuable  in  a  greater  or  less  degree,  and  especially  to  the  historian  and 

The  publishers  take  pride  in  laying  this  exhaustive  History  of  Lycoming  County 
'before  the  public.  They  have  spared  neither  time  nor  money  to  make  it  as  complete 
and  accurate  as  possible,  and  with  a  consciousness  that  they  have  zealously  striven 
to  fulfill  the  promises  made  in  their  prospectus,  the}'  feel  that  they  will  receive  the 
approbation  of  every  reasonably  disposed  patron. 

JOH>'    F.     MeGINNESS,  BbOWX,     RuXK    &    CoMPAlfT, 

Editor.  ■         Publishers. 




Original  Extent  of  the  Territory  Out  of  "Which  Lycoming  was  Formed — The  Andastes  and 
Who  They  AYere — Their  Extinction — Remains  of  Fortifications  Near  iluncy — Indian 
Mound — Lands  Purchased  from  the  Indians — What  the  Penns  Paid — Appearance  of 
the  First  White  3Ien — Weiser's  Journey  up  Lycoming  Creek — Advent  of  the  ilora- 
vians  and  Their  Trials — Madame  Montour  and  French  Margaret 17-31 



Beginning  of  Indian  Troubles — Work  of  French  Emissaries — Declaration  of  War  and  a- 
Premium  for  Indian  Scalps — French  Camp  Near  Loyalsock — The  Cannon  Hole — Battle- 
of  Muncy  Hills — Indian  Paths  and  Where  They  Ran — The  Rirer  and  Its  Tributaries — 
Their  Names  and  Cleaning — Decline  of  French  Domination — Treaty  of  1768 — More; 
Land  Acquired — Serious  Trouble  About  a  Line — .Job  Chilloway  Discovers  Muncy 
Manor — His  History 32-57 



Form  of  an  Application — Excitement  and  Rush  for  Lands — The  Lottery  System  Tried — 
Trouble  with  the  Indians — Proclamation  by  the  Governor — Old  Surveys  and  Improve- 
ments Near  Muncy — Lawsuit  between  John  Peun  and  Samuel  Wallis — Joseph  Gallo- 
way's Legal  Opinion — First  Dwelling  Houses — Penn  Defeats  Wallis  in  Court — Muncy 
Manor  Divided  into  Five  Tracts  and  the  Land  Ordered  to  be  Sold 58-65 



His  Vast  Landed  Operations  and  Remarkable  History — The  House  He  Built  in  1769  Still 
Standing — His  3Iuucy  Farms  and  Their  Extent — How  He  Was  Ruined  by  James  Wil- 
son, a  Signer  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence — Wallis  Dies  of  Yellow  Fever  and 
His  Immense  Estate  is  Sold  by  the  Sheriff — The  Plantation  Now  Known  as  Hall's 
Farms — His  Widow  and  Family,  and  What  Became  of  Them 66-80 


An  Invasion  from  Wyoming — Towns'hips  of  Judea  and  Charleston  Formed — Expulsion 
of  the  Invaders — Northumberland  County  Erected — Muncy  Township  Created — First 
Public  Road  to  Lycoming  Creek — Names  of  the  Viewers — First  Grist  Mill — Original 
Settlers  at  Muncy — Flight  of  the  Moravians — Beginning  of  the  Revolution — ^Military 
Company  from  the  West  Branch — Tim  Murphy  Kills  General  Frazer — Pine  Creek 
Declaration  of  Independence — Fithian's  Visit 80-94 




Capt.  John  Brady  among  Them — His  Stockade  Fort — The  McKinney  and  Scudder  Families 
—First  White  Child  Born  There— Committee  of  Safety  and  Its  Troubles— The  Robb 
Case  and  How  it  Ended — Beginning  of  Trouble — Seizure  of  Salt — The  Stilling  of 
"Whiskey — Roll  of  Cookson  Long's  Company  of  Militia — The  Brown-Benjamin  Tragedy 
— Trouble  About  the  Election  of  Magistrates — A  Petition  to  Council 95-113 



The  Bloody  Period  Preceding  the  "Big  Runaway" — Tardiness  of  the  Committee  of  Safety 
in  Furnishing  Arms — The  Indians  Commence  the  Work  of  Slaughter — Remarkable 
Escape  of  Hamilton  and  Jackson — Another  Attack — Points  of  Concentration — Captain 
Berry's  Expedition  —  The  Wychoffs — Beath  of  .John  Thomson,  and  Subsequent 
Experiences  of  His  Family — A  Bloody  Day — Colonel  Hepburn's  Company — Victims 
and  SurFivors  of  the  Massacre 112-138 



The  Causes  Which  Led  to  the  Great  Disaster — Vacillating  Course  of  the  Authorities — 
Colonel  Hunter  Accused  of  Double  Dealing — An  Important  Petition  and  Who  Signed  It 
— Cruel  Murder  of  a  Friendlj'  Indian — Colonel  Hunter  Orders  the  People  to  Fly — 
A  Panic  Ensues — Appalling  Scenes  of  Suffering  and  Misery — Authorities  Aroused  at 
Last— The  Loss  to  the  West  Branch  Valley— Help  at  Last 128-140 



His  Presence  Does  Much  to  Inspire  Confidence — General  De  Haas  and  Colonel  Hartley 
Arrive — Sensitive  Officers — Fort  Muncy — Lack  of  Civil  Law — The  Brady  Tragedy — 
Munitions  and  Men — Hunting  Indians — Grass  Cutters  Killed — Hartley's  Expedition — 
Muncy  Township  Assessment  List  for  1778 — Sketch  of  Colonel  Hartley's  Career..  .143-1.58 



The  Winter  of  1778-79  a  Period  of  Comparative  Quiet — Time,  Place,  and  Circumstances  of 
Captain  Brady's  Tragic  Death — The  Burial  Scene — History  of  the  Brad_y  Familj- — The 
Bra(ly  Cenotaph — The  Indians  at  Work  Again — Medicine  Badly  Needed — The  Second 
Indian  Invasion — The  Second  Flight — Colonel  Hubley's  Opinion 161-174 



Orphans'  Court  Provision  for  the  Children  of  Refugees — Weltner's  German  Regiment — An 
Ill-fated  Hunting  Party — Fate  of  Captain  Kemplen — Captain  Robinson — Fort  Muncy 
Rebuilt — The  Hamilton  Family — A  Heavy  Tax  Imposed — Murder  of  the  Lee  Familj' 
— Peace  Declared — The  Last  of  Fort  Jluncy — Hunter  and  Van  Campen — Revolution- 
ary Soldiers — An  Election  Contest 175-193 




Why  It  Was  Originated  and  How  It  Was  Conducted — New  Townships  Erected— Efforts  of 
the  Land  Grabbers — Wallis  Surveys  Above  Lycoming  Creek — Settlers  Petition  the  As- 
sembly— Law  Passed  for  Their  Protection — Litigation  Arises — How  the  Fair  Plaj^  Court 
Did  Business — Interesting  Depositions — Case  of  Toner  and  Sweeny—  Passage  of  Land 
Laws — Survejf  of  the  River — The  Walker  Tragedy — Exciting  Time  With  the  Seneca 
Indians 193-310 



Disintegration  of  the  Original  Townships — A  New  County  Proposed — The  Beginning  of 
Bitterness — A  Strong  Appeal  Denied — The  Genesee  Speculations — The  Williamson 
Road — A  New  County  at  Last — Choosing  a  Name — Boundaries,  Judiciary,  and  Seat  of 
Justice — Original  Extent  of  the  County — First  Officers  and  First  Court — Selection  of 
the  County  Seat 210-225 



Election  of  a  Sheriff  and  Commissioners  for  the  New  Covmty — Treasurer  Appointed — Total 
Number  of  Taxables  in  the  Seven  Original  Townships — Assessors  and  Justices — Elec- 
tion Districts — Proceedings  of  the  Commissioners — Collectors  of  Taxes — Division  of 
Townships — Trouble  With  Surveyors — Correspondence  About  the  County  Seat. . .  .226-238 



Enumeration  of  Taxables  for  1800 — Their  Names  and  Occupations — Number  of  Colored 
People  in  the  County — Population  of  Lycoming  at  That  Time — First  Territory  Taken 
from  the  County — Tioga  Township  Organized — Changes  in  Election  Districts — Com- 
plete Roster  of  County  Officers  from  the  Beginning  up  to  1891,  Showing  the  Years  They 
Served— ^ketch  of  John  Kidd — First  Coroners'  Inquests — State  Senators,  Representa- 
tives, and  Members  of  Congress 239-263 



The  Building  of  the  First  Prison  Commenced  in  1799  and  Finished  in  1801— A  Strange  Bit 
of  History — The  First  Court  House — Progress  of  Construction  and  Statement  of  Cost 
— A  Slice  for  Lycoming — Bounties  for  Scalps — Cost  of  Holding  Early  Courts — The 
Northeastern  Boundary  Line — The  New  Court  House ■....-.  363-272 



AVhere  the  Early  Courts  Were  Held — Extracts  from  the  Records  Showing  Some  of  the 
First  Cases  Tried — The  Court  Moves  from  Jaysburg — Amusing  Incidents  at  the  Russell 
Inn  and  the  Rising  Sun — President  Judges  of  the  Lycoming  Courts — LTnited  States 
and  District  Courts — Associate  Judges — District  Attorneys — First  Attorneys — The 
Lawyers  of  a  Later  Date — The  Bar  of  To-day — Attorney's  Living  Abroad — Lj'coming 
Bar  Association 273-303 



First  Physiciaus  Known  to  Have  Been  in  This  Section — James  Davidson  Settles  Near 
Jersey  Shore  After  the  Revolution — William  Kent  Lathey  Comes  to  Williamsport  in 
1799-His  Departure  and  Death-Other  Old  Time  Ph.vsicians— Reminiscences  of  Thomas 
Lyon — How  They  Practiced  Medicine  Fifty  Years  Ago — Three  Oldest  Practitioners  in 
the  County — County  Medical  Society — Homojopathy  in  Williamsport — Names  of  all 
Registered  Physicians — Hospitals 30.5-313 



Early  Roads  Authorized  by  the  Court  of  Lycoming  County — The  State  Road  From  New- 
berry to  Painted  Post — The  Distance  and  How  It  Was  Constructed — First  Creek  and 
River  Bridges — Names  of  Incorporators — Final  Sale  to  the  County  and  the  Price — 
Earl}-  River  Transportation — Attempt  at  .Steamboat  Navigation — Appearance  of  the 
Stage  Coach— The  Canal  Built— Advent  of  Railroads— Where  They  Run 314^326 


Original  Ownership  of  the  Site — Newberry — Jaj'sburg — Williamsport  Laid  Out — Additions 
to  the  Town  Plat — Michael  Ross — Origin  of  the  Name — The  First  Improvements — 
First  Ta.xables— First  Stores— Sixty  Years  Ago 326-338 


Borough  Organization — City  Government — Williamsport  and  Newberry  PostofEces — Great 
Floods — Early  Industrial  Development — Flour  Mills,  Distilleries  and  Tanneries — 
Foundries  and  Machine  Shops — The  Lumber  Industry — Susquehanna  Boom  Company 
— River  Dams — Lumber  Riots — Lumbermen's  Exchange — Furniture  Manufacturers — 
Miscellaneous  Manufactures — Financial  Institutions — Water,  Gas,  Electric  Light,  and 
Steam  Companies — Telegraph  and  Telephone  Facilities — Street  Railwa}' — Opera 
House — A  Favorite  Place  for  Conventions — Musical  Organizations — Secret  Societies. 


The  First  Journalistic  Venture  at  Williamsport  and  Its  Subsequent   History — Succession 
of  Newspapers  to  the  Present  Time — Religious,  Historical,  Literary,  Social,    and  Mu- 
sical Publications 379-388 


Religions  Organizations — Presbyterian — Methodist  Episcopal — Reformed —  Lutheran  — 
Protestant  Episcopal — Evangelical — Roman  Catholic — Baptist — Other  Denominations 
— City  Mission — First  Sunday  School — Young  Men's  Christian  Association 388-40-1 


Progress  of  Education — First  Schools  and  Teachers — Williamsport  Academy — Williams- 
port Seminary — End  of  the  Old  Academy — Rise  and  Progress  of  the  Public  Schools — 
The  Record  from  1836  to  1849— The  Schools  of  To-day — Dickinson  Seminary — Young 
Ladies'  Seminary — The  Kindergarten — Teachers'  Institutes — County  Superintendents. 
.  404-416 





The  Allegheny  Mountain  Plateau  System— First  Group— Second  Group— Third  Group— 
West  Branch  Valley— A  Mighty  Arch— The  Glacial  Period— Coal  in  Lycoming  County 
—Iron  Ores— Flagging  Stone— Agriculture— The  First  Nursery— Early  Manufacture 
of  Salt— Agricultural  Societies— Tobacco  Culture— Veterinary  Surgeons 417-427 


MILITARY    RECORD   IN   THE    WAR  OF    1813,   THE    MEXICAN    WAR,    AND    THE 


War  of  1813— jMexican  War— Military  Companies  Under  the  Old  Regime— Lycoming 
County  in  the  Rebellion — Prompt  Expressions  of  Patriotism — Rosters  of  Companies 
from  Lycoming  County — The  Board  of  Enrollment 437-467 



Orthography  of  the  Name— The  McCartys — Municipal  Government — First  Elections — 
Justices  and  Burgesses — Postmasters — Family  Sketches— Old  Hotels — Industries— The 
Bank  and  Insurance  Company — Water  Supply— Secret  Societies — The  Press — Schools 
—Church  History— Burial  Places 468-485 



Original  Ownership  of  the  Town  Site— Early  Settlers — First  Merchants  and  Tradesmen —   . 
Prominent  Residents — Old  Innkeepers — Bailey's  Perilous  Ride — Municipal  Organiza- 
tion— Postmasters — Banks — Industries — Gas   Works — Secret  Societies- The    Press — 
Educational — Churches — Cemetery 485-498 


Historic  Associations — First  Settler — General  Burrows — His    Successor — Hotels — Found- 
ing of  the  Town — The  Postofflce — Borough  Government^Industries — Secret  Societies 
— The  Press — Educational — Churches — Cemeteries 498-510 



The  First  Settler — Pounding  of  the  Town — First  Doctor  and  Lawyer — First  Improve- 
ments —  Postmasters  —  Municipal  Government  —  Industrial  Development  —  First 
National  Bank — Light  and  Water — Secret  Societies — The  Press — Schools  and  Churches 
— Cemeteries 510-514 


Topography — Origin  of  the  Name — Founders  of  the   Town — The   Postofflce — Municipal 
Government — Industrial,  Social,  and  Business  Development — Churches — Schools.  .515-517 




Indian  History — Early  Surveys — Andrew  Culbertson — Galbraith  Patterson — Samuel  Cald- 
well— Beginnings  of  DuBoistown — Municipal  Government — Tlie  Borough  To-day. 517-526 



Founding  of  the  Town — Schools — Postmasters — Industries — Incorporation — I.  O.  O.F.. 536-528 



Hagerman's  Run — Founding  and  Growth  of  the  Borough — Municipal  Government — 
Industries — Postofflces — Churches — Schools 528-532 



Scenery — Historic  Surroundings — Industrial  Development — The  Postoffice — Borough  Gov- 
ernment— Board  of  Trade — Secret  Societies — The  Press — Schools — Churches 532-536 



MuucY. — An  Early  Boundarj^  Line — Disintegration — Historic  Ground — Early  Land  Trans- 
actions— Geology  and  Topography — Villages — PostoiHces — Schools — Churches. 

Fairfield. — Organization  —  Extent  and  Population  —  Geology  —  Settlement  —  Governor 
Shulze — The  Rawle  Cottage— Schools  and  Churches. 

Upper  Fairfield. — Erection  —  Change  of  Name  —  Geology  —  Pioneers — Villages — Post- 
offices — Mills — Churches — Schools. 

Mill  C'kbek. — Formation  —  Pioneers  — Economic  Resources — Huntersville — Churches  — 
Schools 536-549 



MuNCY  Creek. — Formation — Geologj' — Port  Penn — Clarkestown  —  Industries  —  Schools — 

Immanuel's  Lutheran  Church. 
MoRELAND. — Organization — Origin  of  the  Name  —  Pioneers — Topography — PostofBces — 

Schools — Churches. 
Fk ANKLiJT. — Erection  —  Extent  and  Topography  —  Pioneers  —  Industries  —  LairdsviUe — 

Mengwe — Schools — Churches. 
JORDAK. — Boundaries — Geologj'  and  Topography — First  Permanent  Settler — Mills — L'nity- 

ville — Schools — Churches 550-567 


Shrewsbcry. — Political  Organization  —  Geological  and  Topographical  Features  —  First 

Settlers — Highland  Lake — Mills — Villages — Postoffices — Schools. 
Wolf. — Boundaries — Geology — Incidents  of  Early  History  —  Industries  —  Bryan  Mill — 

Schools  and  Churches. 
Penn.  —  Organization  —  Geology  —  First     Settlers  —  Mills  —  Postofflces  —  Churches  — 

Schools 567-572 



Washhstgtok". — Original  Boundaries  and  Subsequent  Disintegration — Wliite  Deer  Valley — 

First  Taxables — Mills — Founding,  Growth,  Postofflce,  and  Industries  of  Elimsport — 

Schools — Churches — Cemetery. 
Clinton. — Erection — Black  Hole  Valley — Penny  Hill — Early  History — Streams  and  JMills — 

Postoffices — Churches — Schools. 
ARirsTRONG. — Formation — Geology  and  Topography  of   ^Mosquito  Vallej' — Lumbering — 

Water  Reservoirs — Schools — Churches. 
Brady. — Extent    and   Population  —  Geology  —  Maple    Hill  —  Judge    Piatt  —  Schools — 

Churches 572-590 


NippENOSE. — First  Township  Officers — Origin  of  the  Name — The  Antes,  McMicken,  and 

Stewart  Families — Industries — Jersey  Shore  Station — Railroad  Excavation — Nippono 

Park — Schools. 
Limestone. — Formation — Varieties   of  Limestone — Nippenose    Valley — First   Settlers — 

Mills — Postvillages — Churches — Schools. 
Susquehanna. — Area  and  Topography — Settlement — Nisbet — Schools. 
Bastrbss. — Erection — Geology — Bastress    Postofflce — German    Catholic    Settlement    and 

Church 593-613 


LoTALSOCK. — Significance  of  the  Name — Geology  and  Topography — A  Township  Dispute — 
Early  Officials  and  Assessments — Earlj'  History — McKinney  Iron  Works — Saw  Mills — 
Educational — Churches — Cemeteries. 

Hepburn. — Organization — Mineral  Resources — An  Indian  A^illage — Pioneers — Ball's  Mills 
— Cogan  Valley  Station — Crescent  Iron  Works — Fire  Insurance  Company — Educa- 
tional— Churches. 

Eldred. — Erection — Geology — First  Settlers — Streams  and  Mills — Warrensville — Educa- 
tional— Churches 612-638 



Plunkett's  Creek.— Dr.  William  Plunkett— Pioneers— Industries— Barbour's  Mills— Proc 
torville — Fishing  Clubs — Churches — Schools. 

Lewis. — Original  and  Subsequent  Limits — Lycoming  Creek — Mineral  Resources — Prom- 
inent Early  Settlers — Industries — Trout  Run — Bodines — Field's  Station — Gray's  Run 
— Churches — Schools. 

Cascade.— Formation— Burnett's  Ridge— First  Settlers — Kellysburg — St.  ^Mary's  Catholic 
Church — Schools. 

Gamble. — Erection — Geology — Exploration  and  Settlement — Manufactures — Postoffices — 

Churches — Schools » 634-648 



:McIntyke — Erectiou—Geology— Settlement — Astonville— Carterville— The  ^Molntyre  Mines 
— Ralston— Present  Saw  Mills— Red  Run  Coal  Companj'—Postofflces— Schools. 

McNett — Organization — Mineral  Resources— Roaring  Branch — Penbiwn — Ellenton— Che- 
mung— Saw  Mills — Schools 643-651 




Old  Lycoming. — Organization — Early  History — Prominent  Settlers — Mills — Churches  and 

Anthony. — Erection — Geology — Streams — Churches — Schools. 

Woodward. — Formation — Queneshaque  Run — Pioneers — Linden — Schools — Churches. 
Ltcoming.— Boundaries— Geology— First  Settlers— Quigelville—Perryville— Schools , . .  052-660 



MiFPMN. — Erection — Geology — First    Settlers — The    Lumber    Industry — A   Paradise    for 

Hunters — Churches — Schools. 
PoETEE. — Formation — Mineral  Resources — Historic  Ground — The  Davidson  Burial  Ground 

— Reminiscences  of  Father  McMurray — Industries — Schools. 
Watson. — Organization — Geology — Settlers — The   Iron   Industry  —  Postoffices — Schools — 

Piatt. — Boundaries — Early  Settlers — Industries — Postoffices — Churches  and  Schools.. .  .660-677 



Brown. — Organization — Pine  Creek — Settlement  and  De\'eIopment — Lumbering — Villages 
— Postoffices — Churches  and  Schools. 

CuMMiNGS. — Original  and  Present  Boundaries — Survey  and  Settlement — Industries — Water- 
ville — English  Mills — Ramsey ville — Paducohi — Churches — Schools. 

PrNE. — Erection — Physical  Features — A  Seminary  in  the  Wilderness — The  English  Settle- 
ment— Oregon  Hill — English  Centre — Schools. 

McHbnry. — Successive  Efforts  by  Which  This  Territory  Acquired  Separate  Political  Auton- 
omy— Geological  and  Topographical  Features — Lumbering — Postoffices — Schools . .  678-695 



.Jackson. —  Organization  —  Streams  —  Geology  —  Settlement  —  Button  wood —  Education — 

CoRAN  House. — First  Township    Officers — Drainage — Geology — Pioneers — Pioneer  Lum- 

ermen — Postoffices — Churches — Schools 695-702 


City  of  Williamsport  and  Borough  of  South  Williamsport 703-935 


Borough  of  Muncy,  and  Muncy  Creek,  Moreland,  Franklin,  and  Jordan  Townships 936-971 

Borough  of  Hughesville,    and  Wolf  (ir^pluding  Picture  Rocks),  Shrewsbury,  and  Penn 
Townships 972-1008 




Borough  of  jMontoursville,  and  Fairfield,  Upper  Fairfield,  Muncy,  and   Mill  Creek  Town- 
ships  1008-1038 



Borough  of  Jersey  Shore,  and  Porter,  Watson,  Mifflin  (including  Salladasburg),  and   Piatt 
Townships : 1039-108-1 


Borough  of  Montgomery,  and  Clinton,  Brady,  Armstrong  (including  DuBoistown),  Washing- 
ton, Nippenose,  Limestone,  Bastress,  and  Susquehanna  Townships 1084-1136 


Old  Lycoming,  Lycoming,  Anthony,  and  Woodward  Townships 1126-1163 




Loyalsock,  Hepburn,  and  Eldred  Townships 1162-1197 



Lewis,  Plunkett's  Creek,  Cascade,  Gamble,  Mclntj're,  and  McNett  Townships 1197-1327 

Cogan  House,  Jackson,  Cummings,  McHenry,  Brown,  and  Pine  Townships 1337-1247 

Index 1349-136 






Aderhold,  Joseph  S 1177 

Albright,  Chester  E.,  M.  D 951 

Allen,  Robert  P 295 

Barto,  .John  G 1221 

Beck,  John  B 259 

Beeber,  J.  Artley 393 

Beede,  Alexander 853 

Blair,  Horace  H 835 

Bonnell,  Michael 1239 

Bowman,  Benjamin  C 195 

Boyer,  J.  H 843 

Brown,  James  V 213 

Bryan,  Samuel Ill3 

Bubb,  George 385 

Burrows,  S.  H 655 

Campbell,  E.  B 249 

Carpenter,  Jesse  B 1077 

Corson,  Jacob  F 1195 

Coryell,  Tunison 25 

Clapp,  Daniel '. .   943 

Crawford,  John  K 925 

Croll,  George  W 691 

Cummin,  Hugh  Hart 277 

Cummings,  Charles  J 897 

Decker,  Henry 583 

DuFour,  W.  M.,  M.  D 799 

Elliot,  W.  G 465 

Engler,  John 1123 

Eves,  George  S 817 

Pague,  Abner 997 

Fague,  John  M 1033 

Fisher,  Mahlon 123 

Follmer,  Adam 565 

Foresman,  Seth  T 439 

Frantz,  Daniel  G 1131 

Frantz,  Peter 673 

Gamble,  John  A 69 

Gamble,  James 367 

Guinter,  John  L 889 

Hall,  John  B 159 

Harris,  C.  R 907 

Heilman,  John 573 

Hepburn,  James  H 601 

Hermance,  A.  D 807 


Hess,   Peter 1095 

Houston,  Levi 537 

Howard,  William 745 

Howell,  William  M.,  M.  D 619 

Huber,  Milton 871 

Hughes,  Thomas 1149 

Hull,  A.  P.,  M.  D 1087 

Humes,  Samuel 321 

Innes,  Robert 637 

Johnson,  Henry 753 

Johnson,  N.  C 627 

Kahler,  A.  J 987 

Kahler,  John 1005 

Kiess,  Joseph 1159 

Koch,  August 519 

Lawler,  CM. 421 

Lawshe,  Abraham 51 

Lawshe,  Robert  H 1041 

Lawshe,  John 375 

Lentz,  George  W 115 

Lewis,  Julius < 1203 

Lipp,  John 1105 

Luppert,  George 529 

Lyon,  Thomas,  M.  D 303 

Lyon,  Charles  L.,  M.  D * 313 

Mahaffey,  Lindsey 727 

McCormick,  Seth  T 763 

McCorraick,  Henry  Clay 339 

Meginness,  John  F ' 17 

Melick,  H.  B 915 

Mendenhall,  Samuel 547 

Metzger,  John  J 285 

Miller,  J.  J 1167 

Millspaugh,  Thomas 441 

Millspaugh,  John  H 457 

Milnor,  J.  W 11S'> 

Mingle,  S.Q 87'J 

Opp,  John  Philip , 
Otto,  John  A 


Packer,  William  F 79 

Painter,  William  P.  I 475 

Parsons,  Anson  V 33 


Parsons,  Henry  C 331 

Paulhamus,  John G09 





Perkins,  James  H 357 

Philips,  D.  C 969 

Pidcoe,  Emanuel 699 

Poust,  Daniel  H 1069 

Rakestraw,  J.  W 

Randall,  0.  H 

Reeder,  Peter 

Rhoads,  A.  S.,  D.  D.  S. 





Rhoads,  Hiram  R 411 

Richter,  August,  M.  D 789 

Ritter,  Thomas  J 961 

Rowley,  E.  A 367 

Ryan,  John  R.  T 771 

Rynearson,  John 1059 

Sallade,  Jacoh 717 

Sander,  J.  M .V. 645 

Slate,  George 349 

Smith,  John 709 

Sprague,  William  E 861 

Steck,  Daniel 511 

Stevens,  Rev.  Joseph,  D.  D 493 


Stewart,  Charles 241 

Stolz,  George .5.55 

Stuemptie,  David 825 

Sweeley,  William 933 

Taylor,  George  W 1213 

Thomas,  .James 7S1 

Tinsman,  Garret 141 

Trump,  E.  D .VJl 

Turner,  Rev.  William 483 

Updegraff,  Abraham 43 

Watson,  Oliver 87 

Weaver,  William 501 

Weaver,  Samuel 1015 

White,  John 105 

Williams,  Samuel  N 231 

Wilson,  Samuel 429 

Wood,  Joseph 1051 

Wood,  Robert 1281 

Youngman,  George  W 177 

Map  op  Lycoming  County. 





"  -^^m^§y^" 

^*"»       -or/olePOa 

§  \  L IM  E S T OUi-E  /--.—x. 







Lycoming  County, 



Origdjai,   Esttent    op    the    Tekritoky    Out    of    Which  LycoirrsG  Was  Formed — The 


Near  !Mt:ts'Ct — Ixdiax  Mottnt) — Laivds  Purchased  from  the  Ixdiass — What  the 
Penxs  Paid — AppEARA2^CE  of  the  First  White  Men — Weisek's  Joubxet  up  Ltcom- 
rsG  Creek — Advent  of  the  Moratiaxs  aitd  Their  Trials — JIadame  Montour  and 
French   Margaret. 

THE  territory  embraced  within  the  limits  of  Lycoming  county  originally  be- 
longed to  Berks,  which  was  erected  March  11,  1752.  Twenty  years  later 
Northumberland  was  formed  out  of  Berks,  and  twenty-three  years  after  this, 
Lycoming  came  into  existence.  At  that  time  it  covered  a  region  vast  enough  in  its 
proportions  to  constitute  a  State,  and  three-fourths  of  its  territory  was  prac- 
tically an  unknown  wilderness. 

Penn  supposed  he  had  purchased  a  portion  of  this  territory  as  early  as  1696, 
but,  dissatisfaction  arising  among  the  Indians,  another  deal  was  made  in  1736. 
Then  followed  the  purchases  of  1758  and  1768,  which  covered  about  three-fourths 
of  Pennsylvania.     Out  of  this  territory  many  counties  have  been  formed. 

The  West  Branch  valley  of  the  Susquehanna,  known  for  its  beauty,  richness  of 
soil,  and  variety  of  scenery,  was  originally  covered  with  heavy  timber,  save  cleared 
spots  near  the  mouths  of  its  principal  tributaries,  which  were  used  by  the  aborigines 
for  agricultural  purposes.  The  mountains  were  wooded  from  base  to  summit  with 
pine  and  hemlock,  whose  evergreen  foliage  imparted  a  somber  appearance  to  the 
scene.  Owing  to  the  heavy  forests  which  covered  both  valley  and  mountain,  the 
streams  were  larger  than  they  are  to-day.  After  the  denudation  of  these  forests  by 
what  we  practically  term  the  "  advancing  tide  of  civilization,"  the  volume  of  water 
in  river,  creek,  and  rivulet  gradually  decreased,  because  a  supply  to  keep  them  at 
a  regular  stage  is  no  longer  held  by  the  mosses,  decaying  wood,  and  other  absorb- 
ents; and  sudden  and  destructive  floods  are  of  more  frequent  occurrence. 

For  years  there  has  been  much  discussion   among  writers  regarding  the  aborigi- 



nal  inhabitants  of  the  valley.  Several  have  contended  that  a  superior  race  once 
dwelt  here,  and  they  have  been  called  Andastes.  M'orks,  evidently  intended  for 
defensive  purposes,  have  been  pointed  to  as  evidences  of  the  existence  of  a  people 
possessing  a  higher  order  of  intelligence  than  those  who  were  found  here  by  the 
whites.  This  theory,  for  it  is  nothing  else,  has  long  prevailed,  and  the  question  has 
often  been  asked,  "Who  were  the  Andastes?" 

The  Indians  were  commonly  known  among  the  white  people  by  the  names 
Iroquois,  ilengwe,  and  Five  Xations.  At  the  period  when  the  whites  first  became 
acquainted  with  this  territory,  the  Iroquois  proper  extended  through  central  New 
York  from  the  Hudson  river  to  the  Genesee,  and  comprised  five  distinct  nations 
confederated  together,  which,  beginning  on  the  east,  were  known  as  Mohawks, 
Oneidas,  Onondagas,  Cayugas,  and  Senecas.  West  of  them  were  the  HuroruB,  the 
Xeutral  Xation,  and  the  Eries  ;  on  the  south  were  the  Andastes,  on  the  Susque- 
hanna, and  the  Delawares  on  the  river  which  bears  their  name  ;  on  the  east  the 
various  Algonquin  tribes,  which  inhabited  the  district  now  known  as  Xew  England. 

As  early  as  1620  the  tribe  called  Andastes  dwelt  in  the  valley  of  the  Susque- 
hanna, but  little  is  known  of  them.  They  are  spoken  of  by  different  writers  under 
various  names,  the  most  frequent  of  which  are  Susquehannocks,  Minquas,  and 

In  1750,  a  Cayuga  chieftain  informed  David  Zeisberger  that  a  strange  tribe  of 
Indians,  whom  the  Cayugas  called  Tehotachse,  but  which  were  neither  Iroquois  nor 
Delawares,  formerly  inhabited  the  Susquehanna  ■  valley,  and  were  expelled  by  the 
Cayugas.  As  further  proof  of  their  existence  it  may  be  cited  that  in  a  letter  written 
by  Capt.  Joseph  Brant,  the  noted  Indian  warrior,  to  Col.  Timothy  Pickering, 
relative  to  the  Iroquois  claim  to  the  northern  part  of  Pennsylvania,  and  dated  at 
Niagara,  December  30,  1794,  he  says:  "The  whole  Five  Nations  have  an  equal 
right  one  with  another,  the  country  having  been  obtained  by  their  joint  exertions  in 
war  with  a  powerful  nation  formerly  living  southward  of  Buffalo  creek,  called  Eries, 
and  another  nation  then  living  at  Tioga  Point  [now  Athens],  so  that  by  our 
successes  all  the  country  between  that  and  the  Mississippi  became' the  joint  prop- 
erty of  the  Five  Nations.  All  other  nations  inhabiting  this  great  tract  of  country 
•were  allowed  to  settle  by  the  Five  Nations."  That  the  Andastes  are  the  people 
referred  to  by  both  Zeisberger  and  Brant  there  is  little  doubt.  From  the  evidences 
of  their  existence  we  are  warranted  in  concluding  that  they  were  the  most  populous 
and  powerful  of  all  the  Algonquin  tribes.  That  they  inhabited  both  the  North  and 
West  Branch  valleys  of  the  Susquehanna,  and  that  their  villages  were  scattered 
along  both  rivers,  as  well  as  the  main  stream  to  its  mouth,  is  conclusive.  And  that 
they  were  the  most  warlike  of  all  the  eastern  nations,  there  is  little  doubt,  and 
carried  their  conquests  over  the  tribes  of  New  Jersey,  Maryland,  and  Virginia. 
For  nearly  a  century  they  waged  almost  an  unceasing  war  with  the  Iroquois,  by 
which  the  whole  valley  of  the  Susquehanna  was  stained  with  blood.  It  was  this 
fierce  and  warlike  people  who  probably  constructed  the  mounds  and  fortifications, 
the  crumbling  ruins  of  which  were  distinctly  visible  a  hundi-ed  years  ago.  They 
were  the  builders,  probably,  of  the  earthworks  which  once  existed  on  the  bluff  near 
the  mouth  of  Wolf  run.  which  were  visited  and  described  by  Conrad  Weiser  in  his 
first  journey  up  the  West  Branch  in  1737. 


He  informs  us  that  the  ' '  fortification  was  on  a  height  and  was  surrounded  by  a 
deep  ditch.  The  earth  was  thrown  up  in  the  shape  of  a  wall,  about  nine  or  ten  feet 
high  and  as  many  broad.  But  it  is  now  in  decay,  as  from  appearance  it  had  been 
deserted  beyond  the  memory  of  man."  This  defensive  work  was  undoubtedly  very 
powerful  when  first  constructed.  Its  ruins  showed  it  to  have  been  curved  at  the 
extremities  so  as  to  extend  to  the  edge  of  the  cliff,  which  was  very  steep  and  probably 
twenty  feet  high.  At  the  base  now  flows  a  stream  known  as  Wolf  run.  On 
the  eastern  side  or  approach  the  ground  was  level  for  a  long  distance.  There  was  a 
ditch  on  the  east  side  from  which  the  earth  was  taken  to  form  the  embankment.  It 
is  believed  this  work  was  surrounded  by  palisades,  and  that  it  possessed  gates  made 
of  timber.  When  Conrad  Weiser  saw  it  in  1737  it  was  so  old  that  the  timber  had 
succumbed  to  the  ravages  of  time.  Not  a  vestige  of  this  ruin  now  remains  to  mark 
its  site,  and  the  Philadelphia  and  Reading  railroad  was  excavated  through  the  bluff 
on  which  it  stood. 

The  builders  of  this  fortification  probably  constructed  the  mound  which  the 
whites  found  on  an  open  plain  not  far  from  the  north  bank  of  the  river  near  what  is 
now  Hall's  station  on  the  railroad.  Nearly  a  hundred  years  ago  this  mound  attracted 
much  attention  and  was  often  visited  by  antiquarians.  It  was  symmetrical  in  form, 
and  on  account  of  its  antiquity  was  regarded  as  a  prominent  landmark.  Those  who 
have  left  descriptions,  or  indulged  in  speculations  concerning  it,  say  that  it  "  was 
probably  not  more  than  seven  and  a  half  feet  high,"  which  would  require  a  base 
diameter  of  about  thirty  feet.  The  mouud  was  visited  in  1839  by  0.  S.  Fowler,  the 
phrenologist,  who  was  in  search  of  crania.  He  was  accompanied  by  J.  Roan  Barr, 
and  several  other  gentlemen,  of  Muncy.  At  that  time  the  mound,  according  to  the 
recollections  of  'Mr.  Barr,  was  "  from  three  to  five  feet  high."  Many  bones  and 
fragments  were  found  after  digging,  but  only  one  nearly  perfect  skull  was  secured, 
which  Mr.  Fowler  carried  away. 

The  mound  was  undoubtedly  a  place  of  burial,  and  on  account  of  the  great 
number  of  crumbling  bones,  implements  of  war,  and  trinkets,  found  in  its  soil,  a 
large  number  of  bodies  had  been  deposited  there. 

Samuel  Wallis,  who  became  the  owner  of  the  ground  in  1769,  and  soon  after- 
wards engaged  in,  always  called  the  open  space,  in  which  this  prehistoric 
sepulchre  stood,  his  "  Indian  grave  field."  The  early  settlers,  unable  to  account 
for  its  existence,  regarded  it  as  a  curiosity.  Some  writers  have  ascribed  great  age 
to  it,  but  it  is  believed  to  be  less  than  300  years  old.  Gernerd,  a  local  anti- 
quarian of  Muncy,  stoutly  maintains  that  it  was  of  comparatively  recent  origin.  It 
might  have  been  erected  by  the  last  tribe  of  Indians  inhabiting  this  valley  previous 
to  its  conquest  by  the  Five  Nations;  but  how  long  they  were  engaged  in  building  it 
we  know  not.  He  bases  his  theory  of  modem  origin  on  the  fact  that  an  iron  toma- 
hawk, evidently  made  by  white  men,  was  found  in  the  mound  among  the  relics 
disinterred  by  the  vandals  who  desecrated  it.  This  is  no  evidence  of  recent  origin, 
for  how  easy  would  it  have  been  for  modern  Indians  to  have  buried  this  implement 
in  the  soft  loam  of  which  the  mound  was  composed  long  after  it  had  been  built  by 
the  descendants  of  those  whose  ashes  commingled  with  its  soil.  The  assertion,  too, 
that  modern,  though  rude,  clay  pipes  were  found  there  may  be  disposed  of  in  the 
same  way. 


It  may  be  five  hundred  years  old  and  it  may  be  less  than  three.  The  same  maybe 
said  of  the  crumbling  earthworks  seen  by  Conrad  Weiser  near  the  mouth  of  Wolf 
run  in  1737.  And  the  fact  that  nearly  all  trace  of  the  mound  has  disappeared  is 
not  strange,  when  we  consider  that  grave  robbers  were  digging  in  its  side  for  more 
than  fifty  years,  and  that  the  plowshare  of  civilization  has  been  at  work  leveling 
its  sides  for  at  least  a  century.  Is  it  not  strange,  after  the  work  of  these  destruct- 
ive agencies,  that  its  exact  location  can  be  pointed  out  at  all  ? 

The  site  of  this  burial  place  of  the  Andastes,  or  Susquehannocks,  is  nearly 
obliterated,  and  in  a  few  years  it  will  be  wiped  out  entirely.  It  is  only  marked 
now  by  a  slight  rise  in  the  ground,  on  which  a  few  gnarled  locust  trees  are  growing. 
But  it  is  still  worthy  of  a  visit,  on  account  of  its  strange  and  weird  associations,  by 
those  who  love  to  ponder  over  the  memories  of  the  extinct  people  whose  ashes  have 
served  to  enrich  the  soil  of  Wallis's  "  Indian  grave  field" — no  matter  whether  they 
lived  a  thousand  years  ago,  or  only  three  hundred. 

The  story  of  the  decline  and  final  extirpation  of  this  once  fierce  and  warlike 
people  is  a  sad  one.  Parkman  informs  us  that  prior  to  1600  the  Susquehannocks 
and  the  Mohawks  came  into  collision  and  the  former  nearly  exterminated  their 
enemy  in  a  war  which  lasted  ten  years. 

Soon  after  this  the  power  of  the  Andastes  began  to  wane,  and  their  prestige 
rapidly  departed.  As  early  as  1650  they  were  so  hard  pressed  by  the 
tribes  of  the  Five  Nations  from  the  north  that  they  abandoned  their  towns 
on  the  North  Branch  above  Wyoming,  as  well  as  on  the  West  Branch,  and  slowly 
retired  down  the  river.  Continual  wars  for  years  had  resulted  in  so  thin- 
ning their  ranks  that  they  were  no  longer  the  powerful  nation  of  yore;  and 
they  were  so  hunted  by  their  fierce  and  relentless  enemies  that  the  legislature  of 
Maryland  in  1661  authorized  the  Governor  to  aid  them  with  the  provincial  forces. 

The  war  soon  degenerated  into  one  of  mutual  inroads,  in  which  the  spirit  of 
vindictiveness  was  the  controlling  factor,  when  the  former,  greatly  reduced  by  pes- 
tilence and  famine,  so  rapidly  melted  away  before  the  superior  numbers  of  their 
untiring  and  implacable  foes,  that  in  1672  they  could  muster  only  300  warriors, 
and  extermination  stared  them  in  the  face. 

In  1675,  Colden  and  other  writers  inform  us,  the  tribe  was  completely  over- 
thrown and  dispersed.  Too  proud  to  submit  as  vassals  of  the  Iroquois,  and  too  weak 
to  contend  against  them  in  the  field,  they  forsook  the  Susquehanna  and  took  up  a 
position  on  the  western  borders  of  Maryland,  where  for  many  years  they  kept  up  a 
savage  border  war  with  the  whites.  A  remnant  of  this  once  valiant  tribe,  now  called 
Conestogas,  continued  to  subsist  along  the  Susquehanna  for  nearly  a  hundred  years 
after  their  prestige  had  departed.  Charged  with  theft  and  other  crimes,  they  were 
forced,  to  escape  the  vengeance  of  the  whites,  to  seek  safety  in  the  jail  at  Lancaster. 
There  the  Paxtang  Boys,  as  a  band  of  lynchers,  found  them  on  Sunday  afternoon, 
December  27,  1763,  and  there  the  last  Andaste  miserably  perished  ! 

After  the  Iroquois  had  succeeded  in  driving  the  Andastes  from  the  Susquehanna 
region,  they  next  made  war  on  the  Lenni  Lenape  and  soon  succeeded  in  subduing 
them.  The  Delawares  were  allowed,  after  their  capitulation,  to  stay  in  their  old 
homes  ;  and  eventually  they  were  permitted  to  occupy  the  country  of  the  Andastes. 
It  was  shared  with  the  Shawanese  and  Tuscaroras.      The  confederation,  with  their 


conquered  subjects,  the  Delawares  and  Shawanese,  used  the  country  in  common, 
mainly  for  hrmting  and  fishing  purposes.  The  term  Lenni  Lenape,  as  applied  to 
these  people,  was  general  in  its  application  and  embraced  a  number  of  tribes,  quite 
distinct  in  their  character,  yet  speaking  the  same  language  and  meeting  around  the 
same  council  fire.  These  tribes  embraced  in  their  subdivisions  the  Unamis,  or 
Turtle  tribes  ;  the  Unalaehtos,  or  Turkeys,  and  the  Monseys,  or  Wolf  tribes.  The 
former  occupied  the  country  along  the  coast  between  the  sea  and  the  Kittatinny  or 
Blue  mountains.  They  were  generally  known  among  the  whites  as  the  Delaware 
Indians.  The  Monsey,  or  Wolf  tribe,  the  most  active  and  warlike  of  the  whole, 
occupied  the  mountainous  country  between  the  Kittatinny  mountains  and  the  sources 
of  the  Susquehanna  and  Delaware  rivers. 

The  Indians  remained  here  as  occupants  of  the  soil  until  the  encroachments  of 
the  whites  compelled  them,  about  the  year  1750,  to  gradually  vacate  the  West 
Branch  and  seek  new  places  of  abode  west  of  the  Ohio  river.  But  it  was  with  great 
reluctance  that  they  departed,  and  they  frequently  returned  to  linger  around  the 
graves  of  their  ancestors.  It  was  while  making  these  incursions  that  they  com- 
mitted many  deeds  of  atrocity,  because  their  vindictive  feelings  were  aroused  on 
finding  their  favorite  hunting  grounds  occiipied  by  pale  faced  strangers.  The  Mon- 
seys, noted  for  their  fierce  and  warlike  character,  were  the  principal  occupants  of  the 
territory  now  embraced  within  the  confines  of  Lycoming  county. 

Notwithstanding  the  aborigines  of  this  valley,  like  all  others  of  their  class,  were 
called  savages,  they  were  withal  a  noble  race  when  in  their  primitive  condition,  and 
by  some  writers  they  have  been  styled  the  "  Romans  of  the  New  World." 


The  Indian  confederation,  known  as  the  Six  Nations,  having  acquired  the  lands 
formerly  occupied  by  the  Andastes  or  Susquehannocks,  supposed  they  had  control 
of  them.  But  in  this  they  were  mistaken.  Thomas  Dongan,  Grovernor  of  the  Prov- 
ince of  New  York,  thinking  that  he  possessed  control  over  all  the  lands  lying  south 
of  his  Province  because  he  had  nominally  purchased  them  of  certain  chiefs,  pro- 
ceeded to  lease  them  to  William  Penn.  This  lease,  which  is  a  curious  document, 
as  well  as  the  first  instrument  relating  to  this  portion  of  Pennsylvania,  was  executed, 
January  12,  1696.      It  may  be  found  in  Vol.  I,  Pennsylvania  Archives,  pp.  121,  122. 

William  Penn  purchased  the  lands  for  £100,  and  the  deed  was  made  January  13, 
1696.  The  wording  of  the  deed  is  almost  an  exact  copy  of  the  article,  and  Thomas 
Dongan  receipted  for  £100,  the  consideration  named  therein,  in  the  presence  of  the 
same  witnesses. 

The  Indians  occupying  these  lands  were  then  induced  to  confirm  the  sale  to 
Penn,  "  in  consideration  of  a  parcel  of  English  goods,"  by  signing  a  deed  relin- 
quishing all  claims  to  the  same. 

It  appears  that  dissatisfaction  still  existed  among  the  Indians  regarding  the 
transfer,  for  on  the  1st  of  April,  1701,  an  article  of  agreement  between  William 
Penn  and  representatives  of  the  Susquehannah  Indians  was  drawn  and  signed,  in 
which  the  sale  was  confirmed. 

Nothing  further  regarding  this  great  purchase  occurred  until  thirty-five  years 
later,  when,  owing  to  dissatisfaction  again  breaking  out,   a  council  was  called  at 


Philadelphia  to  consider  the  matter  and  restore  good  feeling  if  possible.  The  Six 
Nations  always  disputed  the  authority  of  those  who  made  the  original  transfers, 
claiming  that  by  right  of  conquest  they  alone  were  entitled  to  make  contracts, 
although  they  had  tacitly  acquiesced.  There  was  a  large  attendance  at  this  council, 
and  after  much  parleying  the  chiefs  signed  a  pre-emption  deed  releasing  all  claims 
to  the  Susquehanna  lands  in  consideration  of  a  certain  lot  of  goods.  As  this  deed 
is  one  of  the  most  curious  made  by  the  Penns,  during  their  many  transactions  with 
the  original  occupants  of  the  soil,   the  consideration  mentioned  is  given  herewith : 

Now  know  ye,  that  in  consideration  of,  the  premises  afs'd,  and  of  the  several  Quantities 
of  Groods  herein  mentioned,  viz:  500  pounds  of  powder,  600  pounds  of  Lead,  45  Guns,  60 
Strowd  water  match  Coats,  100  Blankets,  100  duffle  match  coats,  200  yards  of  half-thick,  100 
shirts,  40  hatts,  40  pair  of  Shoes  and  Buckles,  40  pair  of  Stockings,  100  hatchets,  500  Knives, 
100  houghs,  60  Kettles,  100  Tobacco  tongs,  100  Scissors,  500  awl  blades,  120  Combs,  2000  needles, 
1000  Flints,  24  Looking  Glasses,  2  pounds  of  vermillion,  and  100  Tin  pots,  besides  25  Gallons 
of  Kum,  200  pounds  of  Tobacco,  1000  Pipes,  and  24  dozen  of  Gartering,  by  the  said  Propri- 
etaries, John  Penn,  Thomas  Penn  and  Rich'd  Penn,  well  and  truly  paid  and  delivered. 

The  chiefs  representing  the  Five  Nations  were  then  named  in  the  deed,  followed 
by  those  of  the  other  tribes,  all  expressing  "themselves  to  be  fully  satisfied,  con- 
tented, and  paid,  and  thereof  do  acquit  and  forever  discharge  the  said  Proprietaries, 
their  heirs,  successors,  and  assigns  by  these  presents. " 

This  deed,  which  is  very  long,  is  signed  by  seventeen  witnesses  on  behalf  of  the 
Penns,  and  among  them  appears  the  name  of  Conrad  Weiser,  the  famous  interpre- 
ter and  guide.  On  behalf  of  the  Indians  appear  the  names  (unpronounceable)  of 
eight  Onondaga  chiefs,  six  Senecas,  four  Oneidas,  two  Tuscaroras,  and  three 

The  territory  of  Lycoming  county  lies  within  the  bounds  of  the  district  speci- 
fied in  this  instrument.  The  deed  is  dated  June  7,  1737,  forty-one  years  after 
William  Penn's  transaction  with  Dongan.  A  manuscript  copy,  beautifully  engrossed, 
is  in  the  possession  of  Howard  E.  Wallis,  of  Muncy.  It  was  made  for  his  great- 
grandfather, Samuel  Wallis,  who  was  an  extensive  land  speculator,  and  was  found 
among  his  papers.  It  is  over  one  hundred  and  eighteen  years  old  and  is  one  of  the 
rarest  instruments  of  writing  ia  existence  in  this  county. 

After  the  execution  and  sealing  of  this  pre-emption  deed,  the  representatives  of 
the  Six  Nations  then  signed  a  release  of  the  lands  in  dispute,  thereby  making  the 
line  of  transfer  complete.  All  of  the  foregoing  instruments  may  be  found  in  Vol. 
I,  Pennsylvania  Archives,  pp.  494-499,  where  they  may  be  consulted  by  the 


It  can  not  be  stated  with  any  certainty  when  the  first  white  man  appeared  in  this 
valley.  The  story  of  Etienne  Brul6,  as  related  by  Parkman,  is  somewhat  indefinite. 
Brul6  was  interpreter  and  guide  to  Champlain,  the  French  Governor  of  Canada.  In 
the  summer  of  1615  a  French  expedition  was  sent  against  the  Iroquois.  The 
Hurons,  who  were  friendly,  informed  them  that  there  was  a  powerful  tribe  living 
south,  who  were  willing  to  send  500  warriors  to  aid  in  the  war  against  the 
Iroquois.  Brul6,  hearing  of  this,  sought  permission  from  Champlain  to  take  twelve 
Indians  and  visit  the  Andastes  to  urge  them  to  hasten  forward  the  reinforcements. 


The  request  was  granted  and  the  intrepid  Frenchman  started  on  his  perilous 
mission.  Just  where  he  struck  the  head  waters  of  the  Susquehanna  is  unknown, 
but  there  is  no  doubt  that  he  descended  that  river.  Some  writers  are  of  opinion 
that  he  was  at  the  fortiiication  on  Wolf  run,  near  Muncy.  If  such  was  the  case,  he 
was  undoubtedly  the  first  white  man  to  visit  this  section. 

As  adventurers  the  French  were  bold,  daring,  and  hardy.  No  dangers  deterred 
them  from  penetrating  the  wilderness  at  that  day  in  their  efforts  to  secure  territory 
for  New  France,  and  they  met  the  natives  in  many  instances  and  ingratiated  them- 
selves into  their  favor,  when  other  Europeans  would  have  shrunk  from  the  task. 
Brul6,  however,  had  a  hard  time.  He  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  Iroquois  and 
suffered  terribly  from  bad  treatment  before  he  escaped.  He  was  absent  three  years 
before  Champlain  saw  him  again.  On  his  return  he  described  the  country  and  the 
people  he  had  met.  He  speaks  of  a  palisaded  town  of  the  Andastes  on  the  upper 
waters  of  the  Susquehanna  which  contained  a  population  of  800  warriors,  or  about 
4,000  souls.  He  might  have  been  mistaken  in  his  estimate,  as  this  would  have  been 
a  very  large  population  for  an  Indian  town.  If  it  was  situated  in  what  is  now 
known  as  Muncy  valley,  it  shows  that  the  country  at  that  time  was  as  attractive  to 
the  Indians  as  it  is  to  the  whites  of  to-day.  Such  being  the  case,  it  is  reasonable  to 
suppose  that  the  Andastes  chose  the  valley  as  an  inviting  place  to  found  one  of  their 
largest  towns. 

Whether  Brul6  passed  down  the  North  or  West  Branch  to  the  main  river,  it  is 
undenied  that  he  was  the  first  white  man  known  to  descend  the  river,  and  carry 
tidings  of  the  appearance  of  the  country  and  the  people  back  to  the  French  com- 
jnander  in  Canada,  over  270  years  ago  ! 

The  next  white  man  to  pass  through  the  valley  was  Conrad  Weiser,  when  he 
made  his  jouruey  to  Onondaga  in  1737,  nearly  120  years  after  Etienne  Brul6.  There 
is  no  doubt  about  Weiser's  visit,  for  he  left  a  written  record  of  his  joiu'ney,  and 
spoke  of  visiting  the  ruined  fortification  on  Wolf  run.  This  was  on  the  20th  of 
March.  On  this  perilous  journey  he  was  accompanied  by  the  famous  Indian  chief, 
Shikellimy,  afterwards  vice-king  of  the  Six  Nations  at  Shamokin,  two  other  Indians, 
and  a  German. 

In  the  forenoon  of  the  21st  they  reached  Muncy  creek.  It  was  very  high 
and  they  were  taken  over  in  a  canoe,  not  without  great  danger.  The  next 
day,  he  says,  two  English  traders  attempted  to  cross,  but  their  canoe  was  over- 
turned by  the  force  of  the  current  and  one  of  them  drowned,  and  the  other  only 
escaped  by  swimming.  He  does  not  state  which  way  they  were  traveling,  but  it  is 
likely  they  were  on  their  way  up  the  river  to  the  Indian  town  on  the  Loyalsock,  or 
the  Great  Island.  This  is  the  first  mention  we  have  of  white  traders  ascending 
the  river  this  far,  but  it  is  not  likely  that  they  were  the  first,  as  we  hear  of  them 
being  at  Shamokin  as  early  as  1728.  The  Indian  trader  was  an  adventuresome  indi- 
vidual, and  he  did  not  hesitate  to  brave  the  dangers  of  flood  and  field  to  meet  the 
Indians  to  dispose  of  his  wares. 

On  the  22d  they  reached  the  Indian  village  of  Otstuagy,  situated  near  the  site  of 
Montoursville,  and  so  named  from  a  rock  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river.  This 
rock,  which  was  a  conspicuous  landmark  for  many  years,  was  destroyed  by  the  con- 
struction of  the  Philadelphia  and  Erie  railroad. 


Weiser  notes  ia  his  journal:  "  Before  we  came  in  sight  of  the  village  we  reached 
the  large  creek  [Loyalsock]  which  looked  more  dreadful  than  the  one  yesterday." 
An  ice  flood  was  very  likely  prevailing  at  that  time.  And  from  his  remarks  regard- 
ing their  approach  to  the  village,  we  infer  that  it  was  situated  on  the  west  side  of 
the  creek. 

It  is  probable  that  they  tarried  a  day  or  two  at  the  Indian  town  for  rest  after 
getting  over  the  Loyalsock.  It  would  be  interesting  to  know  how  the  crossing  of 
this  turbulent  stream  was  effected,  after  their  rough  experience  at  Muncy  creek,  but 
he  failed  to  note  anything  about  it  in  his  journal. 

After  leaving  Otstuagy  Weiser  and  party  struck  the  Sheshequin  path,  which 
intersected  the  trail  they  were  following  a  short  distance  west  of  the  village,  and 
crossed  the  hills  to  the  north  of  the  present  city  of  Williamsport  to  Lycoming  creek. 
The  horrors  of  their  journey  up  this  stream  are  vividly  depicted  in  his  journal,  and 
show  what  a  dense  and  almost  impenetrable  wilderness  existed  in  the  gorges  of 
Lycoming  creek  at  that  day.      On  reaching  it  he  says: 

We  came  to  a  narrow  valley  about  half  a  mile  broad  and  thirty  long,  both  sides  of  which 
were  encompassed  with  high  mountains,  on  which  the  snow  lay  about  three  feet  deep.  In  it 
ran  a  stream  of  water,  also  about  three  feet  deep,  which  was  so  crooked  that  it  kept  a  continued 
winding  from  one  side  of  the  valley  to  the  other.  In  order  to  avoid  wading  so  often  through 
the  water,  we  endeavored  to  pass  along  the  slope  of  the  mountain — the  snow  being  three  feet 
deep  and  so  hard  frozen  on  the  top  that  we  walked  upon  it — but  we  were  obliged  to  make 
holes  in  the  snow  with  our  hatchets,  that  our  feet  might  not  slip  down  the  mountain,  and  thus 
we  crept  on.  It  happened  that  the  old  Indian's  foot  slipped,  and  the  root  of  a  tree  by  which  he 
held  breaking,  be  slid  down  the  mountain  as  from  the  roof  of  a  house,  but  happily  he  was 
stopped  in  his  fall  by  the  string  which  fastened  his  pack  hitching  on  the  stump  of  a  small  tree. 
The  two  Indians  could  not  go  to  his  aid,  but  our  Dutch  fellow-traveler  did;  yet  not  without 
visible  danger  of  his  own  life.  I  also  could  not  put  a  foot  forward  until  I  was  helped.  After 
this  we  took  the  first  opportunity  to  descend  into  the  valley,  which  was  not  until  after  we  had 
labored  hard  for  half  an  hour  with  hands  and  feet.  Having  observed  a  tree  lying  directly  off 
from  where  the  Indian  fell,  when  we  got  into  the  valley  again,  we  went  back  about  one 
hundred  paces,  where  we  saw  that  if  the  Indian  had  slipped  four  or  five  paces  further  he  would 
have  fallen  over  a  rock  one  hundred  feet  perpendicular  upon  craggy  pieces  of  rocks  below. 
The  Indian  was  astonished  and  turned  quite  pale;  then,  with  outstretched  arms  and  great 
earnestness,  he  spoke  these  words:  "/  tliank  the  great  Lord  and  Qovernorofthis  loorld,  in  that  he 
has  had  mercy  upon  me  and  has  been  'willing  that  I  should  line  longer.''^  Which  words  I,  at  that 
time,  put  down  in  my  journal.     This  happened  on  the  3oth  of  March,  1737. 

These  touching  words  were  uttered  by  Shikellimy,  who  has  been  often  styled 
the  "  great  and  good  Indian. "  He  was  the  father  of  Logan,  the  noted  chief  who 
made  the  eloquent  speech  relating  to  the  white  race  which  will  live  as  long  as 
history  exists. 

The  rocks  over  which  Shikellimy  came  so  near  being  precipitated  formed  the 
cliffs  near  the  present  village  of  Ralston.  The  traveler  informs  us  that  they  con- 
tinued their  journey  through  the  gloomy  wilderness,  although  at  great  peril.  At  one 
time  Weiser  was  so  overcome  by  exhaustion  and  hunger  that  he  seated  himself  by 
the  roots  of  a  tree,  expecting  to  die.  Shikellimy,  who  was  in  advance,  came  back 
in  search  of  him.  Finding  him  as  described,  he  stood  silently  for  a  moment  and 
then  said:  "My  dear  companion,  thou  hast  hitherto  encouraged  us;  wilt  thou  now 
quite  give  up  ?  Remember  that  evil  days  are  better  than  good  days.  For  when  we 
suffer  much  we  do  not  sin.     Sin  will  be  driven  out  of  us  by  suffering,  and  God  can 



not  extend  his  mercy  to  them ;  but  contrarywise,  when  it  goeth  evil  with  us,  God 
hath  compassion  on  us. ' '  These  sublime  words  coming  from  the  lips  of  the  old 
Indian,  had  the  desired  efPect.  Weiser  says  they  made  him  "  ashamed,"  and  he  rose 
up  and  traveled  on  as  best  he  could  until  the  journey  was  finished. 

Five  years  later  came  Count  Zinzendorf,  the  Moravian  missionary,  who  traveled 
through  what  is  now  Lycoming  county.  He  was  accompanied  by  his  daughter 
Benigna,  Anna  Nitchsman,  J.  Martin  Mack,  and  two  friendly  Indians.  Zinzendorf 
was  a  very  pious  and  devout  man,  and  labored  zealously  for  the  conversion  of  the 
Indians  to  the  Moravian  faith.  During  his  mission  he  made  a  marked  impression 
among  the  Indians,  and  the  influence  of  his  good  work  was  long  felt.  Shikellimy 
became  a  convert  to  the  Moravian  faith,  and  as  he  was  the  chief  ruler  over  all  the 
tribes  dwelling  on  the  Susquehanna,  it  can  readily  be  seen  what  a  good  effect  must 
have  resulted  from  his  conversion.  He  adhered  to  the  Moravian  faith  to  the  close 
of  his  life,  and  was  buried  by  the  rites  of  that  church  at  Shamokin,  December  17, 

Zinzendorf  and  his  party  left  Shamokin  on  the  30th  of  September,  1742,  and 
traveled  up  the  West  Branch.  During  the  second  night  they  encamped  near 
Muncy  creek.  The  Count  spoke  enthusiastically  of  the  beauty  of  the  scenery  and 
the  richness  of  the  foliage.  He  expressed  some  surprise  at  not  seeing  any  snakes, 
which  he  had  been  informed  were  very  numerous;  and  there  was  a  species  which 
lay  on  the  tops  of  the  low  bushes  ready  to  spring  on  passing  travelers.  None  of 
these  were  seen.  The  country,  however,  abounded  in  reptiles,  bears,  and  other  wild 
animals.  Conrad  Weiser,  according  to  the  journal  of  the  Count,  accompanied  them. 
When  they  approached  Otstuagy — sometimes  called  Otstonwakin — Weiser  rode 
ahead  to  the  village  to  notify  the  inhabitants  of  the  approach  of  the  party.  It  was 
then  the  residence  of  the  celebrated  Madame  Montour,  a  French  half-breed,  who 
located  there  as  early  as  1727.  In  a  short  time  he  returned,  accompanied  by 
Andrew,  the  eldest  son  of  Madame.  The  following  extract  from  the  journal  of 
Zinzendorf  gives  a  description  of  the  appearance  of  Montour,  and  the  meeting  with 
his  mother: 

Andrew's  cast  of  countenance  is  decidedly  European,  and  had  his  face  not  been  encircled 
with  a  broad  band  of  paint,  applied  with  bear's  fat,  I  would  certainly  have  taken  him  for  one. 
He  wore  a  brown  broadcloth  coat,  a  scarlet  damasken  lapel  waistcoat,  breeches,  over  which  his 
shirt  hung,  a  black  Cordovan  neckerchief,  decked  with  silver  bangles,  shoes  and  stockings,  and 
a  hat.  His  ears  were  hung  with  pendants  of  brass  and  other  wires  plaited  together  like  the 
handle  of  a  basket.  He  was  very  cordial,  but  on  addressing  him  in  French  he,  to  my  surprise, 
replied  in  English. 

When  a  short  distance  from  the  village,  Andrew  left  us  and  rode  ahead  to  notify  the  inhabit- 
ants of  our.  approach.  As  soon  as  they  saw  us  they  discharged  their  fire-arms,  by  way  of  salute, 
and  repeated  this  mode  of  welcome  on  our  arrival  at  the  huts.  Here  we  dismounted  and 
repaired  to  Madame  Montour's  quarters.  Her  husband,  who  had  been  a  chief,  had  been  killed 
in  battle  with  the  Catawbas.  When  the  old  woman  saw  us  she  wept.  In  course  of  conversation, 
while  giving  her  a  general  account  of  the  Brethren  and  their  circumstances,  I  told  her  that  one 
of  our  towns  was  named  Bethlehem.        ........ 

The  Indians  erect  either  a  stone  or  a  mound  in  honor  of  their  deceased  heroes.  This 
custom  is  decidedly  Israelitish.     Early  in  the  morning  of  the  3d  of  October  we  heard  a  woman 

wailing  at  the  grave  of  her  husband There  is  a  promiscuous  Indian  population  in  this  village. 

Madame  Montour  brought  two  children  to  me  and  asked  me  to  baptize  them,  alleging  the 
custom  of  the  Canadian  Fathers  as  an  excuse  for  her  request.    I  refused,  telling  her  that  when- 


ever  a  Brother  settled  here  we  would  take  the  matter  into  consideration,  as  we  were  in  the' habit 
of  baptizing  only  such  persons  as  we  thought  we  would  have  frequent  opportunity  of  remind- 
ing of  the  significance  of  the  rite. 

About  the  9th  or  10th  Count  Zinzendorf  turned  around  and  crossed  the  mountains 
to  Wyoming  valley,  where  he 'had  a  very  interesting  visit  with  the  Indians  of  that 
place.  Andrew  Montour,  who  was  proficient  in  several  tribal  languages,  accom- 
panied him  as  guide  and  interpreter. 

This  visit  of  the  distinguished  Moravian  missionary  to  what  is  now  the  central 
part  of  Lycoming  county  150  years  ago  marked  the  beginning  of  a  new  era  in 
Indian  affairs. 

The  next  Moravian  visitation  was  in  June,  1745,  when  Bishop  Spang enberg, 
accompanied  by  Conrad  Weiser,  David  Zeisberger,  and  several  converted  Indians, 
passed  through  the  valley  on  their  way  to  Onondaga.  On  the  8th  of  June  they 
crossed  Muncy  creek  and  followed  the  path  to  Otstonwakin,  which  they  reached  at 
noon.  After  crossing  Muncy  creek  the  Bishop  records  in  his  journal  that  they 
' '  found  half  a  deer,  which  an  Indian  from  Otstonwakin  had  shot,  and  being  unable 
to  carry  all  of  it  home,  he  had  hung  the  rest  of  it  up  in  a  tree,  so  that  whoever 
needed  it  might  take  it — which  we  did." 

The  Indians  at  Otstonwakin  received  them  kindly  and  treated  them  to  boiled 
meat,  which  they  placed  before  them  in  a  large  kettle.  No  reference  is  made  to 
Madame  Montour.  Probably  she  was  absent,  as  she  was  in  the  habit  of  moving 
about  a  great  deal.  After  refreshing  themselves  they  proceeded  in  the  afternoon  on 
their  journey,  and  at  dusk  came  to  Lycoming  creek,  which  they  called  the  "  Limp- 
ing Messenger,"  and  encamped  for  the  night.  This  name  is  not  inappropriate, 
when  we  consider  the  tortuous  windings  of  the  stream  and  the  many  ripples  it  con- 
tains. To  reach  it  they  probably  took  the  Sheshequin  path,  as  a  "cut  oif,"  which 
ran  through  what  we  now  call  Blooming  Grove.  Portions  of  this  Indian  highway 
are  still  visible  in  a  forest  north  of  Williamsport. 

While  encamped  on  the  "  Limping  Messenger"  their  horses,  which  had  been 
turned  out  to  graze,  strayed  back  to  Otstonwakin  some  time  during  the  night, 
and  some  of  the  party  had  to  be  sent  in  search  of  them.  This  delayed  their 
movements  until  noon.  It  would  be  interesting  to  know  just  where  Spangenberg 
and  his  party  encamped.  It  is  likely  that  it  was  near  where  the  path  debouched 
from  the  hills,  in  a  ravine,  a  short  distance  below  what  is  now  Hepburnville. 

Having  recovered  their  horses  Spangenberg  and  his  party  resumed  their  journey 
up  Lycoming  creek  in  the  afternoon  of  June  9th.  He  speaks  of  entering  the 
"wilderness,"  and  says  that  their  path  through  the  valley  lay  between  the  "Ant 
Hills,  one  hill  resembling  another,  side  by  side,  and  so  high  that  we  [they]  could 
scarcely  see  to  the  summit.  They  are  all  peaked  and  resemble  ant  hills."  His 
comparison  was  a  good  one,  for  those  who  will  take  the  trouble  to  observe  them 
carefully  will  be  struck  with  their  striking  resemblance  to  immense  ant  hills. 
According  to  Lewis  Evans's  map  of  1749,  they  were  called  Burnett's  Hills  by  the 
Indians,  and  the  path  was  marked  as  running  through  the  "  Dismal  Vale  !  "  When 
one  studies  the  face  of  the  narrow  valley  to-day  and  notes  the  hills  on  either  side,  it 
requires  no  effort  of  the  mind  to  imagine  what  it  must  have  been  in  its  primitive 
condition.     And  yet  the  changes  wrought  by  improvement  have  made  the  narrow 


valley  one  of  the  most  attractive  places  in  the  county.  There  are  several  little 
villages,  busy  manufactories,  and  handsome  cottages  with  lovely  surroundings.  A 
railroad  runs  through  it,  and  before  it  passes  over  the  northern  boundary  of  the 
county  it  has  crossed  the  "  Limping  Messenger  "  on  iron  and  wooden  bridges  more 
than  twenty  times. 

In  the  evening  of  that  day  the  good  Moravian  informs  us  that  they  went  into 
camp  for  the  night  at  the  "  Coffee  House."  This  was  probably  a  hut  or  camp  on 
the  ground  now  occupied  by  the  village  of  Trout  Kun,  as  that  would  be  about  the 
distance  they  would  travel  during  the  afternoon.  It  could  not  have  been  more  than 
a  stopping  place,  for  no  white  man  had  yet  erected  a  cabin  in  that  dismal  solitude. 
The  hemlock  and  pine  grew  so  thick  that  their  evergreen  foliage  so  completely  shut 
out  the  light  of  day  that  the  travelers  could  scarcely  see  the  sun  shine. 

On  the  10th  they  continued  their  journey.     The  Bishop  says: 

It  rained  hard  all  day.  Our  course  was  north  for  ten  miles,  then  we  turned  northeast. 
We  are  still  between  the  Ant  Hills,  and  follow  the  Diadachton.  The  forest  is  so  dense  that  for 
a  day  the  sun  could  not  be  seen,  and  so  thick  that  you  could  not  see  twenty  feet  before.  The 
path,  too,  is  so  bad  that  the  horses  often  were  stuck,  and  had  to  be  extricated  from  the  bogs;  and, 
at  other  points,  it  lay  full  of  trees  that  had  been  blown  down  b}'  the  wind  and  heaped  so  high 
that  we  were  at  a  loss  whether  to  turn  to  the  right  or  to  the  left.  In  the  evening  we  came  to  a 
salt  lick,  where  elks  frequent,  and  camped  for  the  night. 

"The  Diadachton"  referred  to  is  what  was  supposed  to  be  Lycoming  creek.  Its 
history  will  be  given  at  the  proper  place.  The  salt  lick  was  either  at  the  mouth  of 
Red  run  or  near  the  village  of  Roaring  Branch.  Salt  was  afterwards  sought  on  the 
former  stream,  and  in  a  land  sale  a  salt  reservation  was  once  made  in  what  would 
now  be  in  the  eastern  part  of  Jackson  township. 

The  following  entry  in  his  journal  shows  how  they  finally  emerged  from  the  wil- 
derness of  Lycoming  creek: 

JtjNE  11. — Set  off  from  the  salt  lick*  and  traveled  northeast;  reached  the  end  of  the 
Diadachton  and  left  the  Ant  Hills  behind  us.  The  path  was  very  bad,  so  that  one  of  our  horses 
almost  broke  his  leg,  by  getting  into  a  hole  between  the  roots  of  a  tree.  In  the  afternoon  we 
found  a  cold  roast  of  bear,  which  Indians  had  left  on  the  hunt.  As  the  meat  was  good  we  pre- 
pared it  for  dinner.  In  the  evening  we  came  to  the  Bear's  Claws  and  camped.  The  Indians 
took  the  claws  from  the  bear  and  nailed  them  to  a  tree,  hence  the  name.  Here  an  Indian  from 
Tioga  lodged  with  us.  From  him  we  learned  that  our  messenger  was  already  one  day's  jour- 
ney ahead  of  us. 

The  end  of  what  he  terms  the  "Diadachton"  was  the  source  of  Lycoming  creek 
at  the  Beaver  Dams  in  Bradford  county. 

After  completing  their  journey  to  Onondaga  Spangenberg  and  party  returned 
by  the  same  route.  Their  experiences  were  even  more  trying  than  on  the  outward 
journey.  Not  only  had  they  to  contend  with  the  same  horrors  of  the  swamps  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  present  villages  of  Ralston,  Bodines,  and  Trout  Run,  but  a  succes- 
sion of  severe  rain  storms  made  traveling  almost  unendurable.  The  heat  was  very  * 
great,  and  the  ground  had  become  so  saturated  with  water  that  the  greatest  care  was 
required  to  guard  against  falling  into  quagmires.      The  unforeseen  delays  caused  by 

*The  "salt  lick"  was  located  on  what  is  now  known  as  Salt  Spring  run,  a  tributary  of  Roaring  Branch 
creek,  which  falls  into  the  latter  about  one  and  a  half  miles  from  the  present  town  of  Roaring  Branch.  Experi- 
ments were  made  there  by  the  early  settlers  for  salt,  and  as  late  as  1863  a  well  was  drilled  to  a  depth  of  nearly 
600  feet  near  an  old  well,  when  salt  water  and  gas  were  developed. 



the  storms  exhausted  their  slender  supply  of  provisions,  and  the  outlook  was  exceed- 
ingly gloomy  and  discouraging.  They  had  struggled  in  the  thickets  of  the  wilder- 
ness for  eight  days,  and  when  they  reached  Otstonwakin,  on  the  Loyalsock,  they  were 
almost  exhausted.  Here  they  met  with  a  bitter  disappointment.  The  Indian  village 
was  deserted,  not  a  fire  burned  in  a  single  lodge,  and  not  a  morsel  of  food  was  to  be 
obtained.  Eiding  on.  in  garments  wringing  wet,  and  barely  alleviating  the  worst 
pangs  of  hunger  with  a  few  fishes  which  they  had  caught  in  the  Susquehanna,  they 
laid  down  on  the  bank  of  the  river  at  noon  of  the  7th  of  July,  1745,  utterly  over- 
come and  prepared  to  die.  They  could  go  no  further.  It  was  an  hour  to  try  their 
souls.  A  handful  of  rice  constituted  the  remnant  of  their  provisions.  The  records 
inform  ns  that  the  Bishop  and  his  young  companions,  faint  and  silent,  waited  to  see 
what  God  would  do  for  them,  while  Shikellimy  and  his  son,  with  the  stoicism  of 
their  race,  resigned  themselves  to  their  fate  without  a  murmur.  While  thus  sitting 
in  this  disconsolate  condition,  offering  silent  prayers  for  their  deliverance,  an  aged 
Indian  emerged  from  the  forest,  sat  down  among  them,  opened  his  pouch,  and  gave 
them  a  smoked  turkey! 

After  having  refreshed  themselves  and  rested,  they  resumed  their  journey  and 
passed  on  down  through  Muacy  valley.  Their  Indian  rescuer  accompanied 
them  and  encamped  with  them  at  night,  when  he  produced  several  pieces  of  dried 
venison  which  they  greatly  relished.  The  next  day  they  reached  Shamokin,  where 
a  trader  supplied  them  with  fresh  provisions  and  starvation  no  longer  stared  them 
in  the  face. 

Count  Zinzendorf ,  it  will  be  remembered,  expressed  some  surprise  at  not  seeing 
any  snakes  on  his  journey  up  the  valley  in  1742.  If  he  was  disappointed  in  this 
respect,  Spangenberg  and  his  party  were  not.  The  latter  records  in  his  journal 
that  they  came  upon  a  rattlesnake  nest  in  the  Muncy  Hills  near  the  river.  At  first  a 
few  of  the  reptiles  were  discovered  basking  in  the  sun.  No  sooner,  however,  did 
they  kill  these  than  the  whole  neighborhood  seemed  to  be  alive,  and  a  rattling  began 
which  was  frightful.  Snakes  crawled  out  of  holes  in  the  rocks  and  from  between 
loose  stones,  or  darted  from  thickets  and  lifting  their  heads  above  patches  of  fern, 
soon  showed  themselves  in  such  numbers  that  the  travelers  were  almost  surrounded 
and  were  glad  to  beat  a  hasty  retreat. 

Rev.  David  Braiuerd  was  the  next  evangelist  to  visit  this  valley  on  a  mission  of 
peace  to  the  Indians.  He  came  La  August,  1746,  about  a  year  after  Bishop  Spang- 
enberg. At  the  intersection  of  the  Sheshequin  and  Susquehanna  paths,  a  short  dis- 
tance west  of  ilontoursville,  he  met  and  preached  to  a  large  body  of  Indians.  Mr. 
Brainerd  was  suffering  from  consumption  when  he  made  his  memorable  visit  and 
had  a  hard  time.  He  extended  his  journey  to  a  town  near  the  present  site  of  Lin- 
den and  conversed  with  the  natives.  His  visit  was  a  short  one,  as  he  found  himself 
unable  to  endure  the  hardship  of  sleeping  on  a  bed  made  of  the  boughs  of  bushes, 
with  no  covering  but  the  canopy  of  heaven,  and  he  hastened  to  return.  His  experi- 
ences among  the  Indians  of  the  West  Branch  and  at  Duncan' s  island,  on  the  main 
river,  were  very  interesting. 


In  the  summer  of  1748  David  Zeisberger  and  John  ilartiu  Mack  made   a  jour- 


ney  up  the  West  Branch  from  Sharookin,  for  the  purpose  of  visiting  the  Indians  and 
ascertaining  the  extent  of  the  famine  which  was  reported  to  be  prevailing  among 
them.  He  records  that  they  reached  Otstonwaliin  on  the  10th  of  July  and  found  it 
entirely  deserted.  They  made  no  stop,  but  continued  on.  At  night  they  were 
greatly  tormented  "  by  punks  and  mosquitos,  despite  the  five  fires  between  which 
we  [they]  lay  down  to  sleep. " 

They  resumed  their  journey  on  the  11th  and  passed  many  empty  Indian  huts. 
In  the  afternoon  they  reached  Long  Island  (opposite  Jersey  Shore),  and  crossed 
over  to  it.  A  few  deserted  huts  were  found.  Here  Martin  Mack  climbed  a  tree  to 
look  out  for  some  human  being,  for  the  grass  and  weeds  were  so  high  that  they  could 
see  no  distance.  From  the  tree  he  saw  an  Indian  on  another  part  of  the  island. 
He  descended  and  made  for  the  point,  where  he  found  a  hut  in  which  an  old  woman 
and  several  others  were  down  with  the  small  pox.  On  asking  where  the  Indians  of 
this  region  were,  he  was  informed  that  many  had  died  of  small  pox,  and  others  had 
been  driven  by  famine  to  the  white  settlements.  Nearly  all  the  Indians  who  dwelt 
on  the  island  were  Delawares,  and  the  number  was  not  small. 

The  missionaries  continued  their  journey  that  afternoon  to  the  Great  Island, 
which  they  reached  in  the  evening.  They  found  a  few  Indians,  principally  women, 
in  a  starving  condition.  The  men  had  nearly  all  been  driven  away  by  the  famine. 
When  informed  that  their  visitors  were  not  traders,  the  Indians  were  greatly  sur- 
prised and  could  not  understand  the  object  of  their  visit.  On  asking  an  Indian  if 
they  could  lodge  in  his  hut  he  took  them  in  cordially  and  spread  a  bear  skin  for 
them  to  sleep  on,  but  he  had  nothing  for  them  to  eat.  The  father  of  this  man, 
about  seventy  years  of  age,  was  dying  of  the  small  pox  and  was  a  most  pitiable 
object.  In  nearly  every  hut  they  found  a  case  of  small  pox.  In  one  hut  hung  a 
kettle  in  which  grass  ivas  steicing,  which  they  ate  with  avidity.  Their  condition 
was  deplorable  and  the  visitors  were  greatly  affected.  Green,  hard  grapes,  which  a 
party  brought  in,  were  quickly  seized  and  voraciously  devoured. 

After  tarrying  a  few  days  among  these  starving  people,  Zeisberger  and  his  com- 
panion started  on  the  return  trip  in  the  afternoon  of  the  13th.  They  camped  that 
night  "on  a  large  flat  rock  by  a  creek,"  where  they  ate  some  moldy  bread,  the  last 
of  their  stock,  "  and  built  four  fires  to  keep  off  the  vermin."  From  his  brief 
description  it  is  hard  to  locate  the  place  where  they  camped,  but  it  was  probably  on 
Pine  or  Larry's  creek,  as  they  reached  Otstonwakin  at  noon  of  the  11th.  They 
arose  early  from  their  rooky  bed  and  Zeisberger  caught  a  few  fish  which 
served  them  for  breakfast.  When  they  reached  Otstonwakin  they  succeeded  in 
spearing  a  "large fish  with  a  pointed  stick,"  which  they  took  to  their  camp  "on  a 
high  bank  of  the  Susquehanna,  where  Bishop  Spangenberg  and  company  had  dined 
on  the  way  to  Onondaga  in  1715,  and  ate  the  fish  for  supper." 

It  would  be  interesting  to  be  able  to  locate  the  exact  spot  where  they  camped. 
From  the  nature  of  the  ground  there  is  no  "  high  bank  "  on  the  river  at  this  point, 
which  leaves  us  to  infer  that  the  camp  must  have  been  on  the  high  ground  on  the 
west  side  of  Loyalsock,  some  distance  north  of  where  it  falls  into  the  river.  The 
underbrush  and  timber  on  the  flats  on  the  east  side  must  have  been  very  dense  at 
that  time,  and  there  was,  no  doubt,  heavy  timber  on  the  high  ground  on  the  west 
side,  which  completely  shut  out  all  view  of  the  river,  and  the  evangelists  supposed 


tliev  were  nearer  to  it  than  they  really  were.     From  the  topography  of  the  sur- 
rounding countr}'  we  can  arrive  at  no  other  conclusion. 


The  last  visit  of  Moravian  evangelists  to  the  dusky  inhabitants  then  living  in  the 
t-erritory  now  comprised  within  the  limits  of  Lycoming  county  was  made  by  John 
Martin  Mack  in  1753.  He  was  accompanied  by  several  friends,  and  reached 
Shamokin  from  Bethlehem  on  the  evening  of  the  24th  of  August  of  that  year.  On 
the  26th  he  prepared  to  ascend  the  river  in  a  canoe,  accompanied  by  ' '  Brother 
Grube."     In  his  journal,  under  date  of  August  27,  1753,  he  makes  this  entry  : 

After  dinner  we  reached  iluncy  creek,  forty  miles  from  Sliamokin,  where  we  put  up  our 
canoe  with  an  Indian  we  knew,  as  the  wat*r  began  to  grow  rapid-  Here  we  met  several 
drunken  Indians  who  teased  us  for  tobacco,  and  began  to  get  cross.  Finally  Brother  Grube 
gave  them  several  cuts  and  they  were  satisfied  and  let  us  go.  We  slung  our  packs  on  our  backs, 
and  by  evening  reached  Otstonwakin.  Mack  pointed  out  to  Grube  the  spot  where  Zmzendorf 
and  his  party  had  pitched  their  tents.  Proceeding  several  miles  further  we  camped  for  the 
night  by  a  creek. 

August  28. — Towards  9  a.  m.  we  came  to  a  small  town  where  Madame  Montour's  niece 
Margaret  lives  [Xewberry]  with  her  family.  She  welcomed  us  cordially,  led  us  into  the  hut, 
and  set  before  us  milk  and  watermelons.  Brother  Grube  told  her  that  Mack  had  come  from 
Bethlehem  especially  to  visit  her.  "  ilother,"  said  Mack,  "  do  you  know  me  ?  "  "  Yes,  my 
child,"  she  replied,  "  but  I  have  forgotten  where  I  saw  you."  "  I  saw  you,"  he  said,  "  eight 
years  ago  on  the  island  at  Shamokin,  when  you  were  living  with  your  brother,  Andrew  Satte- 
lihu."  Hereupon  she  bethought  herself,  that  at  that  time  she  had  come  from  the  Allegheny 
and  was  on  the  way  to  Philadelphia.  She  was  very  friendly  to  us,  and  much  pleased  that  we 
had  visited  her.  She  was  yet  sorrowing  for  the  loss  of  her  son  and  son-in-law,  who  were  killed 
last  winter  in  the  war  against  the  Creeks.  'We  told  her  we  would  leave  our  packs  here  and 
proceed  to  the  Delaware  town  at  Quenischaschacki.  "  Oh  ! "  she  said,  "  the  Indians  up  there 
have  for  some  weeks  been  drinking,  and  we  would  undoubtedly  find  them  all  drunk."  On 
arriving  at  the  town  we  found  all  quiet,  and  the  people  modest  and  friendly.  We  visited 
several  huts  and  inquired  diligently  about  Christian  Kenatus,  and  found  that  he  had  gone  to 
peel  bark  for  his  brother,  the  Captain,  who  is  building  a  new  hut.  We  remained  until  evening, 
and  then  returned  to  Margaret's  town,  who  again  furnished  us  with  food.  We  had  a  long  con- 
versation with  her  on  many  subjects,  and  she  spoke  particularly  of  Andrew  Sattelihu,  and  of 
her  husband,  who  for  six  years  has  drank  no  whisky,  and  who  had  already  prevailed  upon  two 
men  from  drinking. 

She  desired  us  to  visit  her  very  soon  again,  which  we  hoped  to  do.  French  Margaret  is  also 
held  in  high  esteem  by  the  Indians,  and  allows  no  drunkard  in  her  town.  Her  husband  is  a 
^lohawk,  who  understands  French  well,  as  also  their  children,  but  they  do  not  speak  it. 

By  noon  we  reached  our  canoe  at  iluncy  creek,  and  found  that  a  blanket  and  some  pro- 
visions wrapped  in  it  had  been  taken.  Having  had  nothing  to  eat,  we  obtained  some  com  from 
a  woman.  Below  3Iuncy  creek  we  visited  a  small  Shawanese  town,  which  a  few  years  ago 
was  built  by  some  families  from  Wyomick. 

"  French  Margaret "  was  a  Canadian  half-breed  and  a  niece  of  Madame  Mon- 
tour. Her  husband  was  named  "  Peter  Quebec."  Previous  to  1745  they  were 
living  on  the  Allegheny  river,  and  it  was  that  year  that  Mack  met  her  on  the  island 
in  the  river  opposite  Northumberland,  where  she  was  visiting.  Her  place  of  resi- 
dence was  near  the  mouth  of  Lycoming  creek,  on  the  west  side,  and  it  is  noted  on 
Scull's  map  of  1759  as  "  French  Margaret's  Town."  The  site  of  her  village  is  now 
within  the  limits  of  the  Seventh  ward  of  the  city  of  Williamsport.  The  fact  that 
she  had  prohibited  the  use  of  liquor  in  her  village  shows  her  to  have  been  a  woman 


of  more  than  ordinary  character  for  the  time  in  which  she  lived;  and  this  is  prob- 
ably the  first  recorded  instance  of  the  enforcement  of  prohibition,  which  shows  the 
doctrine  to  be  of  great  antiquity.  The  statement  that  her  husband  had  not  drank 
rum  for  six  years  shows  that  he  was  a  strict  observer  of  the  temperance  decree  of  his 
wife,  which  was  something  unusual  for  an  Indian. 

From  the  testimony  of  Mack  it  would  appear  that  the  luscious  watermelon  was 
introduced  early  into  this  country,  for  Margaret  welcomed  them  to  her  wigwam  by 
setting  "milk  and  watermelons  "  before  them.  A  novel  feast,  it  is  true,  but  it  was 
undoubtedly  the  best  this  dusky  Indian  woman  could  do.  She  was  termed  the 
"  lesser  Indian  Queen,"  and  frequently  attended  treaty  meetings  at  Albany,  Easton, 
and  PhOadelphia.  Much  respect  was  shown  her  by  the  Indians  within  her  little 
realm,  whose  confidence  she  seemed  to  enjoy. 

In  July,  1754,  we  learn  from  the  Moravian  records  that  "French  Margaret,  her 
Mohawk  husband,  and  two  grandchildren,  traveling  in  semi-barbaric  state,  with  an 
Irish  groom  and  sis  relays  of  pack  horses,  halted  a  few  days  at  Bethlehem  on  their 
way  to  New  York.  During  her  stay  she  attended  divine  worship,  expressed  much 
gratification  at  the  music  and  singing,  and  was  also  pleased  to  find  sisters  who  were 
conversant  with  French."  She  never  returned  to  her  habitation  on  Lycoming 

LATE    FKOSTS    OF    THE    LONG    AGO. 

Hard  times  and  the  rumors  of  war  continued  on  the  West  Branch.  The  French, 
who  occupied  the  western  part  of  the  Province,  were  threatening  an  invasion,  and 
friendly  Indians  were  in  a  state  of  alarm.  Several  of  the  latter  came  from  the  Ohio, 
and,  through  Conrad  Weiser  the  interpreter,  informed  Governor  Morris  that  they 
desired  to  settle  at  Otstonwakin.  At  the  same  time  the  Governor  was  apprised  that 
a  number  of  white  jseople  from  New  England  had  formed  themselves  in  a  body  for 
the  purpose  of  locating  on  the  Susquehanna  and  in  the  rich  valley  of  Muncy. 

On  the  12th  of  June,  1755,  Weiser  notified  the  Governor  that  he  had  just 
returned  from  Otstonwakin,  where  he  had  been  with  ten  men  to  fence  in  a  cornfield 
for  the  Indians,  in  accordance  with  his  instructions.  When  he  arrived  at  the  place 
he  found  that  the  Indians  who  had  petitioned  the  Governor  for  assistance  had  mostly 
deserted  the  place  for  want  of  provisions,  and  chiefly  for  having  lost  all  their  corn 
by  severe  frosts  between  the  29th  and  30th  of  May  last,  which  was  the  second  frost 
that  had  appeared  in  the  valley  since  their  corn  was  up,  and  it  had  been  entirely 
killed.  He  only  found  two  Indians,  with  their  families,  in  the  town  ;  they  were  very 
thankful  for  what  had  been  done  for  them,  but  as  they  had  no  hopes  of  raising  any 
corn  from  what  they  had  planted,  they  thought  it  useless  to  have  a  field  fenced.  He 
left  them  one  sack  of  flour,  and  on  his  way  down  the  river  left  one  with  the  Indians 
he  found  at  Muncy.  On  this  journey  he  was  accompanied  by  John  Shikellimy,  who 
had  succeeded  his  father  as  reigning  chief  at  Shamokin.  He  informed  the  Indians 
whom  they  met  of  the  threatening  condition  of  affairs  with  the  French,  and  that  a 
declaration  of  war  was  imminent. 

This  was  the  turning  point  in  Indian  affairs  on  the  West  Branch.  The  dusky 
inhabitants  had  been  forced  to  leave  on  account  of  the  continuance  of  the  famine, 
brought  about  by  late  frosts  annually  destroying  their  corn  ;  and  as  their  small 
stores  had  been  entirely  exhausted  they  could  not  recover.  Hence  the  abandonment 
of  the  valley. 




A2«T)   A  PREjnUM   FOR   IXDIAS    SCAUS — FrESCH     CaMP    XeAR    LoTAXSOCK — ThE    CaXN-QX 

HoLE — ^Battle  of  ilrxcT  Hrn,s — Ixdia2s  Paths  axd  AVhere  thet  Rax — The  Riteb 
AJND  Its  TRiBrTABiEs — Their  Xajies  axd  !Measecg — Decline  of  Frexch  Domination 
— Treaty  of  1768 — More  Land  Acquired — Serious  Trouble  About  a  Line — Job 
Chiixowat  Disco^rERs  MuNCT  Manor — His  History. 

THE  feeling  of  nnrest  among  the  Indians  was  gradually  increasing,  on  account 
of  the  machinations  of  the  French  on  the  western  and  northern  borders. 
They  yearned  to  occupy  all  this  portion  of  the  Province  and  sought  every  oppor- 
tunity to  poison  the  minds  of  the  Indians  against  the  English.  The  Colony  was 
weak  and  feared  being  embroiled  in  a  Franco-Indian  war.  Cumberland  county, 
which  had  been  formed,  January  27,  1750,  out  of  a  part  of  Lancaster,  took  in  all  the 
territory  on  the  west  side  of  the  Susquehanna.  Berks  lay  on  the  east  side.  In  the 
meantime  white  settlers  were  gradually  working  their  way  up  the  river  and  a  settle- 
ment had  been  made  onPenn's  creek  (now  Snyder  county),  notwithstanding  the 
threatening  attitude  of  the  Indians.  The  pioneers  trusted  to  the  amity  which  had 
existed  between  the  Indians  and  the  whites  for  fifty  years.  The  former  claimed  that 
they  had  been  deceived  and  cheated  in  the  recent  treaties,  and  as  French  agents 
were  constantly  at  work  among  them,  they  were  soon  ripe  for  revolt. 

The  disastrous  defeat  of  Braddock  was  followed  by  war  throughout  the  western 
part  of  the  Province.  The  adventuresome  settlers  at  Perm's  creek  were  the  first  to 
feel  the  effects  of  Indian  vengeance.  A  hostile  body  of  savages,  painted  and  clad  in 
war  costume,  descended  the  West  Branch  and  fell  upon  the  Penn's  Creek  settle- 
ments. The  attack  was  made,  October  15,  1755,  three  months  after  the  defeat  of 
Braddock,  and  every  person  in  the  settlement,  consisting  of  twenty-five  men,  women, 
and  children  —  with  the  exception  of  one  man  who  made  his  escape,  though  danger- 
ously wounded — were  either  killed  or  carried  into  captivity.  The  scene  of  blood 
presented  in  this  once  happy  settlement,  is  described  as  sad  in  the  extreme.  Their 
humble  cabins  were  burned,  their  stock  slain,  and  their  fields  and  improvements  laid 
waste.  We  are  particular  in  noting  this  first  massacre,  for  it  marks  the  beginning 
of  the  long  French  and  Indian  war  which  followed,  and  in  which  the  settlers  of  this 
portion  of  the  West  Branch  suffered  so  severely.  The  Indians  who  made  this  foray 
were  from  the  Allegheny  river,  and  were  induced  to  come  here  by  the  French,  who 
were  flushed  with  their  victoiy  over  Braddock. 

The  consternation  caused  by  this  Ijloody  affair  was  very  great,  and  struck  terror 
in  the  other  settlements  lower  down  the  river.  It  was  the  first  that  had  occurred  in 
the  Province  of  Pennsylvania  east  of  the  Alleghenies.     In  the  latter  part  of  October, 


1755,  Andrew  Montoxu:  and  the  old  chief  Monagatootha,  who  still  remained  friendly 
to  the  English,  were  sent  for  by  a  band  of  Delawares  to  visit  them  at  the  Great 
Island.  This  historic  spot  lies  in  the  river  a  short  distance  east  of  Lock  Haven,  and 
was  the  headquarters  of  hostile  bands  and  marauding  parties  while  the  war  lasted. 
They  obeyed  the  summons  at  once,  and  were  accompanied  by  three  other  Indians, 
making  five  in  the  party.  On  reaching  the  island  they  found  six  Delawares  and 
four  Shawanese  awaiting  them.  These  Indians  informed  them  that  overtures  had 
been  made  by  the  French  to  unite  with  them  in  a  war  upon  the  English.  They 
farther  informed  them  that  a  large  body  of  French  and  Indians  had  crossed  the 
Allegheny  mountains  for  the  purpose  of  killing  and  scalping  the  settlers. 


Montour  and  party,  on  learning  this  startling  intelligence,  hastened  back  and 
lost  no  time  in  reporting  what  they  had  learned  to  Governor  Morris,  at  Philadelphia. 
They  furthermore  informed  him  that  it  was  the  intention  of  the  French  to  overrun 
this  portion  of  the  country  and  erect  fortifications  at  important  points  the  better  to 
enable  them  to  hold  it ;  and  that  it  was  their  intention  to  seize  Shamokin  (now 
Sunbury)  and  make  it  their  headquarters  on  the  Susquehanna. 

In  the  meantime  the  evil  disposed  Indians  were  not  idle.  About  the  1st  of 
November  they  appeared  in  considerable  numbers  on  the  West  Branch  and  killed 
several  white  people  who  had  risked  staying  in  the  hostile  country.  The  outlook 
became  more  alarming  from  day  to  day.  That  something  must  be  done,  and  that 
speedily,  to  meet  the  red  horde,  was  apparent  to  all. 

Sometime  in  the  following  month  of  November,  an  important  council  of  the  pro- 
vincial authorities  was  held  at  Philadelphia  to  consider  what  system  of  defence  had 
better  be  adopted.  Among  the  friendly  Indians  present  was  the  old  chief  Scar- 
royady,  who  took  a  deep  interest  in  affairs  at  that  time.  He  informed  the  council 
that  two  messengers  had  recently  come  from  Ohio  to  the  Indian  town  at  Great 
Island,  where  they  found  a  ivhite  man  "who  accidentally  happened  to  be  there." 
"Who  he  was,  or  what  the  object  of  his  visit  to  that  place  was  at  that  time,  is  not 
stated.  These  Indian  messengers,  the  chief  stated,  were  greatly  enraged  at  seeing- 
the  white  man  and  insisted  on  having  him  killed.  The  friendly  Indians  would  not 
permit  him  to  be  injured,  and  informed  the  emissaries  of  the  French  that  they  would 
protect  him  while  he  was  with  them,  as  they  had  lived  on  good  terms  with  the 
English  and  did  not  desire  to  shed  blood.  This  positive  declaration  by  the  friendly 
Indians  doubtless  saved  his  life.  It  is  inferred  from  subsequent  events  that  these 
messengers  were  successful  in  their  mission  to  estrange  the  savages. 

The  Indians  who  were  opposed  to  war  advocated  the  building  of  a  defensive 
work  at  Shamokin,  and  recommended  the  same  to  Governor  Morris.  Andrew  Mon- 
tour endorsed  their  recommendation,  but,  owing  to  the  scarcity  of  means,  and  a 
rather  vacillating  course  on  the  part  of  the  authorities,  no  action  was  taken  nntU  the 
last  minute.  Accordingly,  on  the  14th  of  April,  1756,  Governor  Morris  issued  a 
declaration  of  war  against  the  Delaware  tribe  of  Indians,  "  and  others  in  confederacy 
with  them,"  in  which  he  recited  at  considerable  length  the  "cruel,  savage,  and  per- 
fidious manner"  in  which  they  had  "  killed  and  butchered  great  numbers  of  the  inhab- 
itants, and  carried  others  into  barbarous  captivity,"  and  destroyed  their  habitations 



and  laid  waste  the  country.  He  reminded  them  that  notwithstanding  the  friendly 
remonstrances  made  to  them  by  the  government,  and  the  interposition  and ,"  positive 
orders  of  our  faithful  friends  and  allies,  the  Six  Nations,"  they  (the  Delawares)  had 
continued  their  cruel  acts  of  hostility,  "sparing  neither  age  nor  sex;''  therefore,  by 
and  vsrith  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Council,  he  issued  his  proclamation  and 
warned  the  said  Delaware  Indians  and  all  others  associated  with  them,  that  if  they 
did  not  desist  from  their  acts  they  would  be  considered  "  enemies,  rebels,  and  traitors 
to  His  Most  Sacred  Majesty,"  and  he  required  all  his  subjects  of  this  Province  and 
of  neighboring  Provinces,  "  to  embrace  every  opportunity  "  to  pursue  and  kill  all 
Delaware  Indians,  or  their  confederates,  that  might  be  found  committing  hostilities 
of  any  kind  in  the  Province. 


He  concluded  his  long  and  savage  declaration  of  war,  after  numerous  whereases, 
in  these  words,  which  are  quoted  verbatim,  thinking  no  doubt  that  bombast  would 
immediately  frighten  the  Delawares  into  peaceable  submission: 

The  Commissioners  appointed  with  me  to  dispose  of  the  sixty  thousand  pounds  lately  granted 
by  act  of  General  Assembly  for  His  Majesty's  use,  have,  by  their  letters  to  me  of  the  10th 
inst.,  agreed  to  pay  out  of  the  same  the  several  rewards  for  prisoners  and  scalps  herein  speci- 
fied; ...  .1  do  hereby  declare  and  promise,  that  there  shall  be  paid  out  of  the  said  sixty  thousand 
pounds  to  all  and  every  person,  as  well  Indians  as  Christians  not  in  the  pay  of  the  Province,  the 
several  and  respective  premiums  and  bounties  follo-\ving,  that  is  to  say:  For  every  male  Indian 
enemy  above  twelve  years  old  who  shall  be  taken  prisoner  and  delivered  at  any  forts  garrisoned 
by  the  troops  in  the  pay  of  this  Province,  or  at  any  of  the  county  towns,  to  the  keepers  of  the 
common  jails  there,  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  Spanish  dollars  or  pieces  of  eight;  for  the 
scalp  of  every  male  Indian  enemy  above  the  age  of  twelve  years,  produced  as  evidence  of  their 
being  killed,  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and  thirty  pieces  of  eight;  for  every  female  Indian  taken 
prisoner  and  brought  in  as  aforesaid,  and  for  every  male  Indian  prisoner  under  the  age  of  twelve 
years  taken  and  brought  in  as  aforesaid,  one  hundred  and  thirty  pieces  of  eight;  for  the  scalp  of 
every  Indian  woman,  produced  as  evidence  of  their  being  killed,  the  sum  of  fifty  pieces  of  eight; 
and  for  every  English  subject  that  has  been  taken  and  carried  from  this  Province  into  captivity 
that  shall  be  recovered  and  brought  in  and  delivered  at  the  city  of  Philadelphia  to  the  Governor 
of  this  Province,  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  pieces  of  eight,  but  nothing  for  their  scalps. 

This  "declaration"  was  signed  by  Robert  H.  Morris,  Governor  of  the  Province, 
attested  by  Richard  Peters,  secretary,  and  the  "great  seal"  attached,  with  the 
motto  "  God  Save  the  King,"  under  date  of  October  14,  1756.  It  caused  a  ripple 
of  excitement  among  the  people,  while  the  Quakers,  whose  sympathies  were  with 
the  savages,  were  shocked  at  the  idea  of  offering  a  premium  for  their  "Scalps. 
Morris  only  served  from  1754  to  1756  as  lieutenant  governor  of  the  Province.  He 
died,  February  20,  1764,  in  the  sixty-fifth  year  of  his  age.  One  of  his  biographers 
says  that  he  was  " sometimes  inconsiderate  in  the  relations  of  life;  often  singular, 
sometimes  whimsical,  always  opinionated,  and  mostly  inflexible."  His  proclama- 
tion was  too  bombastic  to  have  a  good  effect.  Had  he  ordered  defensive  move- 
ments sooner  and  threatened  less,  he  might  have  accomplished  more  important 
results  and  saved  the  scalp  of  maiy  a  white  settler.  As  it  was  feared,  his  procla- 
mation only  intensitied  the  vindictive  feelings  of  the  Indians  and  caused  them  to 
commit  greater  atrocities. 

Having  declared  war  it  now  behooved  the   Governor  to  act  promptly  in  ordering 


defensive  operations;  instructions  were  issued  for  Colonel  Clapham  to  proceed  to 
Shamokitt  with  his  regiment  and  build  a  fort.  He  had  repeatedly  promised  the 
friendly  Indians  to  do  so,  but  had  always  delayed  beginning  the  work.  Soon  after 
the  massacre  at  Penn's  creek  the  Indian  town  at  Shamokin  was  abandoned  and  the 
Moravian  mission  destroyed.  The  Indians  who  lived  there  sought  other  places  and 
the  Moravians  fled  to  Bethlehem.  When  Colonel  Clapham  arrived  he  found  the 
place  wholly  deserted  and  all  the  cabins,  wigwams,  and  buildings  burned. 

The  work  of  building  Fort  Augusta  was  commenced  in  July,  1756,  and  rapidly 
pushed.  It  was  carefully  laid  out  by  English  engineers  on  a  large  scale,  with  pali- 
sades, bastions,  ravelins,  ditches,  curtains,  counterscarp,  mess  house,  quarters,  and  a 
house  for  the  commandant,  and  became  the  strongest  and  most  important  defensive 
work  constructed  by  the  colonial  authorities  between  the  Delaware  and  the  Alle- 
gheny rivers.  It  became  an  important  factor  in  the  early  settlement  of  the  West 
Branch  region,  and  the  place  of  refuge  for  many  a  settler  flying  from  what  is  now 
Lycoming  county  to  escape  the  tomahawk  and  scalping  knife.  When  fully  manned 
it  mounted  sixteen  cannon,  and  a  garrison  was  kept  there  till  after  the  close  of  the 
Revolution.  On  the  restoration  of  peace  it  was  dismantled  and  its  ramparts  leveled. 
Not  a  hillock  (excepting  a  slight  mound  over  the  magazine)  now  remains  to  mark 
its  site. 


The  building  of  this  great  work  was  commenced  just  in  time  to  save  all  this  part 
of  the  Province,  through  to  the  Allegheny  river,  from  French  domination.  Before 
it  was  fairly  finished  a  French  expedition  was  organized  and  sent  to  Chinkleca- 
moose  (where  the  town  of  Clearfield  now  stands)  with  instructions  to  descend  the 
river  and  capture  the  fort.  Rumors  to  this  effect  reached  the  commanding  officer  at 
the  fort  and  he  straightway  informed  the  Governor.  This  party  of  invasion  was 
said  to  consist  of  800  men,  and  it  is  so  stated  iu  the  Colonial  Records,  but  it  is 
doubtful  if  it  was  one-eighth  of  that  number.  Owing  to  the  meagerness  of  the 
records  it  is  impossible  to  state  the  strength  of  the  invading  party  with  accuracy. 
According  to  tradition  this  force  was  armed  with  four  small  brass  cannon.  Floats, 
or  log  rafts,  were  built  and  on  them  the  French  and  Indians  descended  the  river  to 
a  point  near  the  mouth  of  Loyalsock,  where  they  disembarked  on  the  south  side. 
This  was  near  where  the  great  Indian  path  emerged  from  Bald  Eagle  mountain 
through  the  gap.  Here  the  party  encamped  on  a  level  piece  of  ground,  not  deem- 
ing it  safe  to  descend  the  river  any  further  until  the  strength  of  the  colonial  forces 
below  was  known.  A  small  scouting  party,  with  a  few  French  engineers,  was  then 
detailed  and  marched  over  the  Indian  path  which  led  to  Blue  Hill,  opposite  Fort 
-  Augusta,  where  they  concealed  themselves  and  carefully  reconnoitered  the  position 
of  the  English. 

The  only  account  of  this  expedition  known  to  exist,  is  found  in  the  Marquis  de 
Vaudrenil's  letter  under  date  of  Montreal,  July  13,  1757,  to  the  French  commandant 
of  Canada,  and  now  in  the  Archives  of  France.  It  gives  a  minute  account  of  French 
operations  in  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania.  He  speaks  of  M.  de  St.  Ours  with  six 
Canadians  and  fourteen  Indians  having  been  sent  on  a  scout  to  the  "English  fort 
containing  a  garrison  of  600  men,"   on   the   Susquehanna.      St.  Ours,   he   writes, 


"  took  two  scalps  within  sight  of  that  fort,  but  he  was  unable  to  make  any 
prisoners."  This,  undoubtedly,  was  the  extent  of  the  French  expedition  which 
caused  such  a  fright  to  the  colonial  authorities. 

That  there  was  a  camp  at  the  spot  mentioned,  nearly  opposite  the  mouth  of 
Loyalsock,  there  is  positive  evidence,  for  the  early  settlers  found  French  buttons  and 
other  trinkets  at  that  place.  Near  the  summit  of  the  mountain,  on  the  Indian  path, 
the  remains  of  camp  kettles,  spoons,  and  other  utensils  were  found,  showing  that  a 
body  of  French  had  been  there.  Probably  St.  Ours  and  his  party  lay  here,  while 
the  Indians  remained  in  the  camp  on  the  bank  of  the  river. 

When  the  scouting  party  returned  from  Shamokin  and  reported  that  the  force 
was  insufficient  to  reduce  the  fortification,  preparations  were  made  to  return  to  their 
strongholds  on  the  Allegheny.  Here  M.  de  St.  Ours  was  confronted  with  a  serious 
difficulty.  He  had  floated  down  the  river  very  easily  with  his  cannon,  but  he  could 
not  return  with  his  flotilla  up  stream  ;  and  the  Indian  paths  were  too  narrow  to  drag 
his  guns  back  again.  What  was  to  be  done  with  them  ?  He  did  not  want  them  to 
fall  into  the  hands  of  the  English,  as  they  certainly  would,  if  left  in  the  abandoned 
camp.  After  consultation  with  his  comrades  it  was  decided  to  cast  the  guns  into  the 
river.  Deep  water,  where  it  was  not  likely  they  would  be  discovered,  was  found  a 
short  distance  below  the  camp,  and  into  it  they  were  thrown  and  quickly  went  to  the 
bottom.  This  place  for  more  than  a  hundred  years  has  been  known  as  the  "Cannon 
Hole."  How  the  fact  of  the  guns  being  placed  there  leaked  out  is  unknown,  unless 
some  of  the  Indians  who  accompanied  the  expedition  afterwards  informed  the  whites. 
For  many  years  the  ' '  deep  hole ' '  has  been  filled  with  gravel  and  the  French  guns 
are  no  doubt  buried  beyond  all  hope  of  resurrection. 

The  war  was  continued  without  cessation  for  several  years,  and  many  white 
settlers  were  killed.  The  West  Branch  country,  particularly  that  portion  included 
in  the  limits  of  Lycoming  county,  was  constantly  infested  with  roving  bands  of 
savages  bent  on  pillage  and  murder.  Their  headquarters  were  on  and  about  the 
Great  Island  and  it  became  necessary  to  send  expeditions  there  to  dislodge  them  and 
destroy  their  towns. 


One  of  the  moat  important  of  the  early  conflicts  with  the  Indians  is  known  as  the 
"Battle  of  Muncy  Hills."  A  circumstantial  account  of  the  affair  is  found  in  an  old 
and  rare  book  entitled  "Loudon's  Indian  Narratives,"  published  at  Carlisle,  Pennsyl- 
vania, in  1808.  The  battle  occurred  in  September,  1763.  A  party  numbering 
over  100  men  was  made  up  from  among  settlers  residing  in  Cumberland  and 
Lancaster  counties  to  proceed  up  the  river  as  far  as  Great  Island,  if  possible,  to 
rout  the  hostile  Indians  who  made  that  place  their  headquarters.  Under  date  of 
August  25,  1763,  Lieut.  Samuel  Hunter,  who  was  then  commanding  Fort  Augusta, 
noted  in  his  journal  the  arrival  that  day  of  Captain  Patterson,  Captain  Bedford, 
George  Allen,  and  a  company  of  114  men,  on  their  way  up  the  river  to  destroy  some 
Indian  towns.  Accounts  of  the  number  of  men  in  the  expedition  differ.  The  same 
day  Lieutenant  Blythe,  who  was  also  stationed  at  the  fort,  left  a  note,  which  is  on 
record,  concerning  the  strength  of  the  party.  He  says  that  it  appeared  on  the  Blue 
Hill  side  of  the  river,  opposite  the  fort,  and  three  men  came  over  and  reported  that 


they  were  from  Cumberland  county,  and  that  there  were  fifty  in  the  expedition^. 
They  claimed  that  the  object  of  their  visit  was  to  look  at  the  land  along  the  river  and 
at  Great  Island,  where  some  of  them  proposed  to  settle.  They  also  made  particular 
inquiries  regarding  the  Indians,  which  led  Lieutenant  Blythe  to  believe  that  they 
had  some  design  against  them.  The  names  of  these  men  were  :  John  Woods,  James 
McMeen,  and  James  Dickey.  Of  this  number  we  know  that  McMeen  aftewards 
settled  on  the  river  a  short  distance  west  of  Williamsport  and  became  a  man  of  some 

Loudon  in  his  Narratives  (Vol.  II,  page  172)  says  that  he  had  the  account  from 
"one  of  the  men  who  was  at  the  battle  of  Muncy,"  and  that  he  could  depend  on  his 
veracity.  A  verbatim  transcript  of  the  material  portion  of  this  account  is  as  fol- 

In  September  1763,  about  one  hundred  of  us  went  up  to  take  the  Indian  town  at  the  Grreat 
Island,  and  went  up  to  Fort  Augusta  where  we  sent  a  man  forward  to  see  whether  Andrew 
Monture  was  there,  but  he  was  not;  he  asked  where  he  was  and  was  told  he  had  gone  to  the 
plantation.  We  had  apprehended  that  Monture  knew  of  our  coming  and  had  gone  to  inform 
the  Indians  at  the  town  called  Great  Island,  or  Mousey  town,  and  when  we  got  to  the  fort  the 
officers  that  lay  there  wanted  to  persuade  us  not  to  go  over,  as  the  Monsey  Indians  were 
friendly  to  the  white  people.  But  as  this  was  contradicted  by  some,  we  concluded  to  go. 
When  we  had  crossed  the  river  we  saw  Monture  coming  down  in  a  canoe  with  a  hog  and  some 
corn  which  he  had  brought  from  his  plantation.  When  he  came  near  we  called  to  him,  upon 
which  he  landed  and  enquired  our  business,  which  we  told  him,  and  asked  his  advice  whether 
it  was  proper  to  proceed  or  not.  He  said  they  were  bad  Indians  and  that  we  might  use  them 
as  we  pleased.  We  went  that  night  to  Monture's  plantation,  and  next  morning  crossed  the 
Monsey  hill,  and  discovered  fires,  where  the  Indians  lay  the  night  before.  Here  we  consulted 
whether  to  proceed  or  not;  at  length  William  Patterson  turned  back,  and  we  followed.  When 
arrived  at  the  top  of  the  Monsey  hill,  we  met  with  a  party  of  Indians  which  we  engaged;  had 
two  men  killed,  and  four  wounded,  two  of  which  died  that  night.  We  then  went  and  secreted 
the  dead  bodies  in  a  small  stream  to  prevent  their  being  discovered  by  the  enemy.  By  that 
time  it  was  night,  and  we  went  on  about  twenty  perches,  where  the  Indians  fired  on  us  from 
behind  the  point  of  a  hill.  About  twelve  of  us  ran  up  the  hill  when  we  heard  them  running, 
but  could  not  see  them.  We  then  came  back  to  where  they  had  fired  on  us  at  first,  and  found 
that  the  rest  of  our  party  were  gone.  We  heard  somebody  coming  after,  stopped  to  see  who  it 
was;  George  Allen  and  two  or  three  more  of  our  men  came  up  to  us.  We  chose  Allen  to  pilot 
us  into  the  path,  which  he  undertook  to  do;  but  after  traveling  along  the  side  of  Monsey  hill 
with  much  difficulty,  until  midnight,  I  told  him  we  were  going  the  wrong  road;  he  told  me  if 
I  knew  the  road  better  to  go  before.  We  then  directed  our  course  southward  until  near  day- 
break, when  we  came  to  a  path,  which  Allen  informed  us  led  to  the  Great  Island  and  crossed 
the  North  branch  to  Iskepeck  falls;  in  this  path  we  traveled  until  daylight,  when  we  saw  a 
smoke,  and  proceeding  ten  or  twelve  perches  we  saw  some  Indians  sitting  around  a  fire.  I 
then  turned  to  the  right  into  the  woods,  and  some  of  our  men  followed  me  and  some  went  on 
in  the  path  till  the  Indians  saw  them,  and  seized  their  guns;  we  then  raised  our  guns  to  fire, 
but  the  Indians  cried  don't  shoot  brothers,  don't  shoot!  we  answered  we  will  not  if  you  do  not; 
we  then  went  up  to  them  and  asked  where  they  had  been;  they  said  they  had  been  at  the 
Moravian  town  buying  goods;  we  told  them  we  had  an  engagement  the  evening  before  with 
some  of  their  people;  they  said  it  was  impossible,  as  there  were  no  Indians  at  the  Great  Island 
but  a  few  old  men  and  boys,  the  rest  having  all  gone  out  a  hunting;  I  told  them  I  knew  better; 
that  they  were  gone  to  Tuscarora  and  Shearman's  Valley,  to  kill  the  white  people;  that  we  had 
been  waylaid  at  Buflalo  creek  b}'  them  and  had  five  men  killed  and  one  wounded;  that  James 
Patterson's  shot  pouch  and  powder  horn  had  been  found  near  the  place,  and  he  was  a  Great 
Island  Indian,  and  they  must  come  with  us.  The  three  Indians  began  to  tremble,  and  leaving 
the  victuals  they  were  preparing  proceeded  with  us. 


They  afterwards  coolly  murdered  two  of  these  Indiaus  on  the  hill  just  back  of 
the  town  of  Northumberland,  by  shooting  them  down  as  they  were  made  to  walk  in 
front.  The  third  was  shot  and  supposed  to  be  dead,  until  one  of  the  party  went  to 
strip  him  of  his  fine  leggins,  when  he  suddenly  jumped  up,  ran,  and  escaped.  He 
had  been  shot  through  the  arm,  but  lying  still  and  feigning  death,  suffered  himself 
to  be  scalped.  When  he  jumped  up  and  started  to  run  he  presented  a  horrible 
appearance;  and  as  he  apparently  rose  from  the  dead,  his  assailant  was  so  stupefied 
with  fear  that  he  allowed  him  to  escape.  The  Indian  finally  made  his  way  to  a 
spring,  where  he  bathed  his  head  in  cold  water,  placed  moss  on  his  wound,  and 
tying  it  up  with  one  of  his  leggins,  started  for  Great  Island.  He  reached  his  desti- 
nation, and  accounts  inform  up  that  he  recovered  and  was  able  to  go  upon  the  war 
path  again! 

The  "Monture"  referred  to  in  the  account  was  the  celebrated  Andrew,  son  of 
Madame  Montour,  whom  Count  Zinzendorf  spoke  of  meeting  at  Otstonwakin  in 
1742.  At  this  time  he  was  living  on  a  "plantation"  near  the  mouth  of  Chillis- 
quaque  creek. 

Captain  Patterson's  party  followed  the  Indian  path  over  Muncy  Hills,  and  the 
point  where  they  "discovered  fires,  where  the  Indians  lay  the  night  before,"  is  sup- 
posed to  have  been  the  "Warrior  Spring,"  near  what  is  now  the  village  of  Port 
Penn.  In  early  times  it  was  a  conspicuous  landmark  and  a  favorite  place  of  resort 
by  the  Indians.  It  was  here  that  the  old  Monsey  Chief  Egohowen  and  his  friends 
received  and  entertained  Chief  Newhaleeka,  of  the  Great  Island,  under  the  wide- 
spreading  branches  of  a  mighty  elm ;  and  they  conferred  with  each  other  regarding 
the  condition  of  tlieir  tribes  and  the  future  outlook.  The  meeting,  tradition  informs 
us,  was  a  memorable  one. 

Another  brief  account  of  the  battle  of  Munc}'  Hills,  found  in  Loudon's  Indian 
Xarratives  (Vol.  II,  page  191,)  is  worth  being  reproduced  in  this  connection.  It  is 
as  follows: 

It  was  generally  believed  if  there  could  be  an  expedition  sent  out  to  destroy  some  of  the 
Indian  towns,  and  to  annoy  them  in  their  own  country,  it  would  be  the  most  effectual  method 
to  keejj  them  from  murdering  and  massacreing  the  inhabitants;  accordingly  a  company  of 
volunteers  turned  out  to  the  amount  of  about  100  men,  and  marched  up  the  Susquehanna  as  far  as 
Monsey,  and  at  the  foot  of  a  hill  of  that  name  they  spied  some  Indiaus.  They  held  a  council 
what  was  best  to  be  done;  one  of  the  men  who  had  been  a  captive  with  them  for  nine  years» 
advised  them  to  return  on  the  path  they  came,  for  the  Indians  would  take  round  them  and  come 
upon  their  rear,  and  take  them  upon  disadvantageous  ground;  they  had  not  retreated  far  till 
they  met  the  Indians,  and  a  smart  battle  ensued,  which  lasted  till  dark.  The  Indians  were  in 
two  companies  and  one  of  their  captains  called  Snake  was  killed;  and  when  his  party  found 
their  leader  was  killed  they  moved  off.  When  night  came  on  the  white  men  retired  a  small 
distance  and  lay  down  to  take  a  little  rest.  The  Indians  came  round  and  posted  themselves  in 
B  thicket  a  few  perches  from  the  white  men:  they  were  so  near  that  they  heard  them  cocking 
their  guns,  and  directly  they  fired  on  the  white  men,  who  were  about  to  return  the  Are,  when 
the  captive  above  mentioned  called  not  to  fire,  for  if  they  should  empty  their  guns  the  Indians 
would  rush  up  with  their  tomahawks.  The  white  men  and  Indians  lay  that  near  that  they 
could  speak  to  each  other;  the  Indians  hearing  some  of  our  wounded  making  some  moaning, 
called  to  them  that  some  of  them  was  very  sick;  our  men  replied  that  they  would  serve  some  of 
them  as  they  had  done  the  Snake.  However,  the  Indians  did  not  choose  to  risk  another  battle, 
but  moved  off,  and  ours  came  home  and  brought  the  wounded.  How  many  were  killed  we  can- 
not tell. 


It  was  the  opinion  of  the  inhabitants  at  that  time  in  Lancaster  and  Cumberland 
counties,  that  the  influence  of  this  battle  was  greatly  to  their  advantage,  as  it  had  the 
effect  of  putting  a  check  for  a  time  on  the  movements  of  the  Indians.  This  expedi- 
tion, it  appears,  was  undertaken  without  any  direct  authority  from  the  officers  of 
the  Province,  but  no  doubt  with  their  tacit  approbation;  and  had  it  not  been  for  the 
sequel  they  would  have  been  proud  to  give  it  publicity.  The  place  where  it  occurred 
was  on  the  rear  part  of  the  farm  of  Joel  Bieber,  not  far  from  where  the  Banghart 
school  house  now  stands.  Indian  relics  have  been  picked  up  on  this  ground.  Sev- 
eral specimens  may  be  found  in  the  antiquarian  collection  of  J.  M.  M.  Gernerd,  of 
Muncy,  which  are  treasured  as  memorials  of  a  sanguinary  conflict  which  took  place 
near  by  nearly  130  years  ago. 


The  aborigines  exhibited  a  remarkable  knowledge  of  locality  and  the  geography 
of  the  country.  Without  roads,  and  destitute  of  means  for  accurate  measurement, 
they  seemed  to  possess  an  intuitive  knowledge  of  places,  however  remote  they 
might  be,  and  how  to  reach  them.  Their  mode  of  life  frequently  led  them  hun- 
dreds of  miles  into  a  strange  country,  either  in  pursuit  of  game  or  of  an  enemy, 
yet  it  was  of  the  least  importance  how  they  should  be  able  to  find  their  way  back. 
This  knowledge  resulted  from  experience  and  keenness  of  observation.  To  acquire 
it  they  were  compelled  to  observe  closely  and  quickly,  and  remember  accurately 
every  minute  detail,  either  in  the  configuration  of  the  country,  or  the  trees,  rocks, 
and  streams.  Their  paths,  therefore,  were  always  laid  out  by  the  most  available 
routes  and  by  springs  of  water.  They  were  only  of  sufficient  width  for  one  person. 
They  knew  the  best  fording  places  on  rivers  and  creeks,  and  thither  their  main 
paths  were  directed.  In  exercising  their  engineering  abilities  they  seemed  to  be 
guided  by  the  stars  as  to  the  points  of  the  compass,  whilst  their  intuitive  knowl- 
edge of  location  enabled  them  to  penetrate  the  thickest  and  gloomiest  of  forests 
and  reach  their  destination  with  safety.  Nature  furnished  them  unerring  signs  as 
guides  which  they  never  mistook  in  their  movements;  consequently  it  was  rare  for 
an  Indian  to  lose  his  bearings  in  the  depths  of  the  forest. 

They  had  important  paths  and  thoroughfares  along  the  West  Branch,  over  the 
mountains,  and  up  certain  streams.  Several  of  them  ran  through  Lycoming 
county.  One  in  particular  led  to  the  headquarters  of  the  Six  Nations  and  was  fi-e- 
quently  traveled  by  the  Moravian  missionaries,  bearers  of  important  news,  and  war 

Shamokin  was  the  central  point  in  this  part  of  the  Province  and  from  it  the 
main  paths  diverged  to  all  points  of  the  compass.  The  main  path  north,  after  cross- 
ing the  river  in  shallow  water  on  a  ledge  of  rocks — since  destroyed  by  the  erection 
of  the  dam  at  Sunbury — passed  up  the  ravine  in  Blue  Hill  and  followed  the  present 
road  for  a  few  miles;  then  turning  towards  the  river  passed  over  the  hill  and  fol- 
lowed the  river  through  Winfield  and  Lewisburg;  thence  to  Buffalo  creek,  which  it 
crossed  where  the  iron  bridge  now  spans  it.  Then  it  curved  to  the  river  and  passed 
through  Shikellimy's  town,  which  stood  at  the  mouth  of  Sinking  run,  one  mile  be- 
low West  Milton  on  the  Union  county  side.  The  Heading  railroad  now  runs 
through  the  ground  on  which  this  ancient  village  stood.     It  then  followed  the  river 


along  the  base  of  the  hills  into  White  Deer  valley;  thence  along  the  south  branch 
of  the  creek,  near  where  the  village  of  Elimsport  is  located,  and  over  the  mountain 
into  Nippenose  valle}',  through  which  it  passed  to  the  head  thereof,  then  over  the 
hills  and  through  a  ravine  in  Bald  Eagle  mountain  to  the  river,  where  there  was  a 
fording  to  Great  Island.  It  then  ascended  Bald  Eagle  creek  to  Milesburg,  passed 
over  the  mountains  to  Chinklecanioose  (Clearfield)  and  westward  to  Kittanning. 

From  the  confluence  of  Spring  creek  and  White  Deer  Hole  creek,  another  trail 
bore  away  from  the  main  path  described  above,  to  the  northwest,  following  Spring 
creek  to  its  source,  then  over  Bald  Eagle  mountain  into  Mosquito  valley;  thence 
through  the  narrows  via  DuBoistown  to  the  river,  which  was  crossed  by  a  fording 
just  west  of  the  mouth  of  Mosquito  run  to  the  western  shore  of  Lycoming  creek. 
At  this  point  an  Indian  village,  known  to  the  early  explorers  as  "French  Margaret's 
Town,"  was  located.  From  here  it  continued  up  Lycoming  creek  on  the  west  side, 
because  there  were  such  impenetrable  thickets  on  the  east  side  that  it  was  impossi- 
ble to  penetrate  them.  Keeping  along  the  benches  and  on  the  side  of  the  mountain 
the  point  where  Ralston  now  stands  was  reached.  At  Roaring  Branch  the  creek 
was  followed  to  its  source  to  the  Beaver  Dam  at  the  southwestern  angle  of  Brad- 
ford county;  thence  down  the  meadows,  crossing  to  the  north  side  of  Towanda 
creek,  near  East  Canton,  and  on  down  that  stream.  Here  a  branch  followed  up 
Pine  creek  and  passed  near  Mainsburg,  through  Troy,  down  Sugar  creek  and  over 
the  Ulster  mountain,  called  the  "narrow  way,"'  and  reached  the  Warrior  path  near 
Sheshequin.  A  connecting  path  led  from  near  Le  Roy  to  Burlington.  Weiser  traveled 
the  Le  Roy  and  Burlington  route  in  1737,  and  Zeisberger  took  the  Pine  and  Sugar 
creek  route  in  1750,  in  order  to  reach  Onondaga  through  the  prescribed  door  at 

This  path  was  one  of  the  most  important  in  the  Indian  network  of  trails 
through  this  section  of  the  country.  Portions  of  it  are  distinctly  traceable  to  this 
day  on  the  soath  side  of  Bald  Eagle  mountain,  and  in  Mosquito  valley.  It  is 
worn  deep  in  many  places  and  can  be  followed  with  ease  for  a  long  distance.  That 
it  was  much  traveled  is  evident.  It  passed  a  number  of  springs  where  the  weary 
travelers  stopped  to  quench  their  thirst.  And  over  this  path  many  prisoners,  in- 
cluding women  and  children,  were  dragged  to  captivity.  So  important  was  it 
regarded  as  a  "short  cut"  over  the  mountains,  that  the  early  white  settlers  used  it 
in  traveling  to  and  from  Northumberland.  In  later  times  it  was  widened,  by  cut- 
ting away  the  underbrush,  so  that  pack  horses  could  pass  over  it  and  carry  bags  of 
grain  to  the  mill  which  Culbertson  built  near  the  mouth  of  Mosquito  run.  And  in 
time  it  came  to  be  known  as  "  Culbertson's  Path,' '  on  account  of  its  convenience  in 
going  to  and  returning  from  his  mill. 

Long  before  the  introdaction  of  stage  coaches  and  packet  boats,  river  men  in 
returning  from  voyages  below  on  foot  followed  the  path  through  Nippenose  valley 
to  theii'  homes  up  the  river.  About  the  close  of  the  last  century,  when  the  nearest 
postoffice  to  the  West  Branch  valley  was  located  at  Northumberland,  parties  living 
along  the  river  from  this  point  up  as  far  as  the  settlements  extended,  traveled  over 
these  paths  when  going  for  their  mails. 

The  next  great  trail  passed  up  the  river  on  the  east  side  from  Northumberland, 
by  the  mouth  of  "Warrior  run  and  through  the  gap  in  the  Money  Hills — now  followed 



by  the  public  road — to  the  "Warrior  Spring,"  near  Port  Penn.  The  importance  of 
this  great  spring  has  already  been  referred  to.  It  was  a  favorite  camping  place; 
many  chiefs  and  warriors  met  there  to  counsel  with  each  other  when  the  times  grew 
gloomy  and  the  stern  finger  of  destiny  began  to  becMon  their  tribes  westward.  The 
associations  which  cluster  around  that  spring,  still  as  pure  and  clear  as  it  was  a  hun- 
dred years  ago,  would  fill  a  volume  if  they  could  be  obtained  and  written  out.  The 
great  elm  under  which  these  councils  were  held  has  long  since  fallen,  but  the  crys- 
talline waters  of  the  spring  flow  on  forever. 

The  Wyoming  path  started  from  this  spring  and  ran  up  Glade  run,  'so  named  from 
the  glades  or  open  spaces  through  which  it  passed  before  falling  into  the  river  a 
short  distance  below  Muncy  creek;  then  it  continued  over  the  hills  to  Fishing  creek, 
which  it  crossed  at  the  present  thrifty  town  of  Millville;  thence  on  to  Nescopeck  gap 
and  up  the  river  to  Wyoming,  where  it  intersected  another  important  trail  leading 
north  through  Wyalusing  to  Tioga  Point.  This  path  was  not  used  as  much  as  the 
others;  it  was  only  used  as  a  "cut  off"  by  parties  wishing  to  reach  the  West  Branch 
valley  quickly  from  Wyoming  or  vice  versa.  Count  Zinzendorf  traveled  over  it  in 
the  latter  part  of  September,  1742,  on  his  return  from  visiting  Madame  Montour  at 
Otstonwakin,  under  the  guidance  of  Andrew  Montour,  her  son.  War  parties,  too, 
in  later  years,  used  it  when  on  marauding  expeditions  against  the  white  settlers. 

The  Wyalusing  path,  which  is  frequently  referred  to  in  the  records,  started  from 
the  big  spring  and  ran  up  Muncy  creek  to  the  head,  or  nearly  so,  when  it  crossed 
the  hills  to  Loyalsock,  half  a  mile  from  where  the  Berwick  turnpike  now  crosses 
that  stream  ;  thence  by  the  borough  of  Dushore,  Sullivan  county,  and  on  to  Wyalu- 
sing creek,  near  the  northeast  corner  of  Sullivan  county,  to  the  flats,  where  it  inter- 
sected the  path  leading  north.  It  was  frequently  used,  and  over  it  the  Moravians 
traveled  when  they  fled  from  their  settlement  on  the  North  Branch  to  this  valley,  and 
thence  on  to  Ohio. 

The  great  trail  from  Muncy,  which  was  a  continuation  of  the  path  from  North- 
umberland, crossed  Munoy  creek  and  continued  up  the  river  on  the  line  of  the 
present  highway  to  Otstonwakin,  where  it  crossed  Loyalsock.  It  then  kept  on  the 
edge  of  the  ridge,  on  account  of  the  swampy  ground,  until  it  reached  what  is  now 
East  Third  street,  Williamsport.  The  course  from  Third  and  Penn  streets  is 
believed  to  have  been  a  little  north  of  the  former,  following  an  elevated  piece  of 
ground  near  the  line  of  Willow  street,  and  as  far  north  as  Edwin  street,  until  a 
point  was  reached  near  Park  street,  when  what  is  now  West  Fourth  street  was  fol- 
lowed to  Lycoming  creek,  where  it  crossed  at  a  fording,  and  then  continued  down 
that  stream  to  French  Margaret's  Town.  From  here  it  continued  up  the  river  to 
Linden,  where  another  Indian  village  was  located.  The  route  was  then  over  what 
is  now  the  public  road  to  Great  Island.  It  ran  over  the  ground  where  Jersey  Shore 
stands  and  crossed  Pine  creek  at  or  near  the  present  bridge,  near  the  Hays  place. 
This  route  was  an  important  one  and  was  frequently  traveled.  The  Moravians  in 
their  visitations  to  the  Great  Island  followed  it,  and  war  parties  descended  this  way. 

What  was  known  as  the  Sheshequin  path  left  the  trail  up  the  west  side  of  the 
river,  near  the  mouth  of  Black  Hole  creek  (Montgomery),  followed  that  stream 
almost  to  its  source,  and  then  crossed  Bald  Eagle  mountain  through  Loyalsock  gap 
to  the  river  ;  thence  northwesterly  by  a  fording  at  the  head  of  what  is  now  known 


as  Canfield's  island  to  the  north  shore  of  the  river.  From  this  point  it  ascended 
what  was  called  Bonsul's  run  in  olden  times,  but  is  known  at  the  present  day  as 
Miller's  run.  Where  it  crossed  the  path  leading  up  the  river  was  the  point  where 
Eev.  David  Brainerd,  the  Presbyterian  missionary,  met  and  preached  to  a  large 
number  of  Indians  in  August,  1746.  Before  the  Moravian  records  at  Bethlehem 
were  f.ound  and  translated,  the  early  writers  supposed  that  he  was  the  first  white 
man  to  preach  to  the  Indians  west  of  Muncy  Hills.  But  later  research  showed  that 
Count  Zinzendorf  had  preceded  him  by  four  years  as  a  missionary.  Brainerd 
speaks  in  his  journal  of  preaching  to  the  savages,  and  gives  them  credit  for  being 
very  attentive. 

The  path  then  bore  away  in  a  northwesterly  direction  through  what  is  called 
Blooming  Grove,  and  descended  through  a  gap  to  Lycoming  creek,  coming  out  near 
Hepburnville.  There  it  united  with  the  path  leading  up  that  stream.  In  a  piece  of 
timber  not  far  north  of  Williamsport,  traces  of  the  path  are  still  plainly  visible,  and 
it  can  easily  be  followed  for  some  distance.  It  is  deeply  beaten  into  the  earth  at 
many  places,  showing  that  thousands  of  travelers  passed  over  it  in  early  times.  It 
shortened  the  distance  considerably  between  the  point  where  it  intersected  the  great 
path  leading  up  Lycoming  creek,  and  from  Otstonwakin,  on  Loyalsock,  by  avoiding 
French  Margaret's  Town. 

Conrad  Weiser  on  making  his  journeys  to  Onondaga  generally  used  it,  and 
Zeisberger  and  other  Moravians  traveled  that  way.  It  was  a  favorite  route  for  war 
parties  coming  in  from  the  north,  and  over  it  many  prisoners  were  conducted. 

The  foregoing  were  all  the  Indian  paths  of  anj^  consequence  known  to  run 
through  the  territory  of  Lycoming  county  when  it  was  held  by  the  original  owners; 
and  if  the  reader  is  familiar  with  the  geography  of  the  country,  he  will  readily  see 
that  they  were  laid  out  so  as  to  enable  the  traveler  to  reach  any  given  point  by  the 
shortest  distance. 


Having  indicated  as  definitely  as  possible  the  Indian  paths  which  ran  through 
the  section  of  country  now  forming  Lycoming  county,  it  will  not  be  out  of  place  to 
describe  the  principal  streams,  give  their  Indian  names,  and  the  meaning  thereof, 
as  far  as  it  is  possible.  Indian  names,  although  very  poetic,  are  often  difficult  to 
pronounce  and  hard  to  understand.  This  comes  of  the  peculiarity  of  the  languages. 
Bancroft  informs  us  that  they  are  usually  concrete  and  synthetic,  not  abstract  nor 
analytic.  They  can  not  say  father,  son,  master,  separately.  The  noun  must  be 
limited  by  including  within  itself  the  pronoun  for  the  person  to  whom  it  relates  ;  so 
they  could  not  say  tree  or  house  —  the  word  must  always  be  accompanied  by  pre- 
fixes defining  its  application.  They  have  special  terms  for  each  kind  of  oak,  but  no 
generic  term  including  them  all.  The  noun,  adjective,  and  pronoun  are  all  blended 
into  one  word.  Hence  one  part  of  a  stream  or  place  might  receive  one  name,  and 
the  other  part  a  very  different  one. 

The  principal  stream  flowing  through  Lycoming  county  is  the  West  Branch  of 
the  Susquehanna  river.  It  runs  through  almost  the  center  of  the  county,  on  the 
north  side  of  Bald  Eagle  mountain,  in  a  direction  due  east  until  it  reaches  the  end 
of  the  mountain  opposite  Muncy,  when  it  bears  around  it  in  a  graceful  curve    and 


flows  south  by  west  luitil  it  passes  into  Northumberland  county  at  the  Montgomery 
raih'ond  bridge.  It  is  diificult  to  define  the  word  Susquehanna,  as  it  is  spelled  and 
pronounced  to-day.  In  early  times  it  was  written  '•  Sasquehanna,"  which,  accord- 
ing to  Kev.  W.  C.  Eeichel,  of  Bethlehem,  is  a  corruption  from  Que-ni-schach-ach- 
gek-han-ne,covapowided  oi  quin,  long,  schach-ack-ki,  straight,  andhanne,  stream, — 
the  name  by  which  the  Delawares  originally  designated  the  "'reach"  of  the  West 
Branch  westward  from  Muncy  creek,  then  the  West  Branch,  and  finally  the  main 
stream  of  the  great  river.  What  is  known  at  this  day  as  the  "  Long  Reach  ' '  proper 
is  a  long  stretch  of  water  weat  of  Williamsport.  It  reaches  for  several  miles,  and 
the  ground  over  which  it  flows  is  so  level  that  scarcely  a  current  is  perceptible. 

By  some  tribes  the  West  Branch  was  called  the  Ot-zin-ach-son,  but  the  Indian 
historians  have  failed  to  define  the  meaning  of  the  term.  That  it  possessed  some 
peculiar  significance  is  evident,  for  the  late  Professor  Guss  informs  us  that  the- 
Ot-zin-cvch-son  were  people  of  the  Demon's  Dens,  but  he  offers  no  explanation  of  the 
phrase.  Count  Zinzendorf,  when  he  came  to  Shamokin  in  1742,  and  ascended  the 
West  Branch,  says  in  his  journal:  "To  the  left  of  the  path,  after  crossing  the 
[main]  river,  a  large  cave  in  a  rocky  hill  [Blue  Hill]  in  the  wilderness  was  shown 
us.  From  it  the  surrounding  country  and  the  West  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna  are 
called  the  Ot-zin-ach-son,  i.  e.,  the  '  Demons  Den,'  for  here  the  evil  spirits,  say  the 
Indians,  have  their  seats  and  hold  their  revels." 

The  word,  or  combination  of  words,  is  a  soft,  poetical,  and  beautiful  expression, 
and  it  strikes  us  as  singular  that  it  should  represent  evil  spirits.  The  river  flows 
through  a  valley  noted  for  the  beauty  and  picturesque  grandeur  of  its  natural 
scenery,  and  at  many  points  it  rises  to  the  degree  of  sublimity.  Some  writers  have 
claimed  that  Otzinach  was  the  Iroquois  name  for  Shamokin,  but  no  testimony  in 
support  of  the  theory  has  been  advanced. 

That  the  term  Ot-zin-ach-son  was  current  in  early  times,  whatever  may  have 
been  its  meaning,  is  well  supported.  Conrad  Weiser  occasionally  refers  to  it  in  his 
journal  as  the  "  Otsinackson, "  the  "Zinahton,"  "  Zinachton,"  and  the  "  Rinacson  " 
river.  Great  confusion  in  the  pronunciation  of  Indian  names  was  caused  by  the 
different  ways  of  spelling  them  by  persons  of  different  nationalities.  The  Germans 
wrote  them  according  to  their  ideas  of  expressing  the  sound,  the  French  did  the 
same,  and  the  English  ditto.  The  result  has  been  a  curious  combination  of  words 
based  on  sounds,  so  puzzling  to  Indian  linguists  that  they  can  not  correctly  define 

Susquehanna,  by  some  authorities,  is  claimed  to  be  a  corruption  from  a  Delaware 
word,  signifying  the  ivinding  river.  The  Iroquois  called  at  least  the  upper  part,  if 
not  the  whole  stream,  Ga-iva-no-wa-na-neh  Ga-hutn-da,  signifying  the  Great 
Island  river.     But  it  is  useless  to  speculate. 

The  West  Branch,  which  has  its  source  in  Cambria  county,  is  fed  by  several 
large  tributaries  in  its  passage  through  Lycoming  county,  some  of  which  rise  to  the 
dignity  of  mountain  rivers.  On  the  southern  boundary  the  first  tributary  worthy  of 
mention  in  this  connection  is  Black  Hole  creek.  It  flows  through  the  borough  of 
Montgomery  and  falls  into  the  river  on  its  west  side.  It  drains  an  extensive  district 
on  the  south  side  of  Bald  Eagle  mountain. 

The  next  two  streams  on  the  east  side  are  Glade  run  and  Muncy  creek.     The 


latter  is  a  large  and  important  tributary,  having  its  sources  in  Sullivan  county.  It 
flows  through  a  mountainous  region,  antl  as  it  has  many  tributaries,  it  drains  a  large 
district.  It  takes  its  name  from  the  Monsey  Indians,  who  once  inhabited  that  part 
of  the  county,  but  there  has  been  some  dispute  as  to  the  true  origin  of  the  name. 
By  som.e  early  writers  and  explorers  it  was  called  Oc-coh-po-cheny,  but  subsequent 
investigation  showed  that  this  name  applied  to  the  flats,  or  hickory  grounds,  at  its 
mouth.  Conrad  Weiser,  in  his  frequent  journeys  through  through  the  valley,  speaks 
of  it  as  Can-a-so-ragy,  and  others  called  it  Lone-e-se-ran-go.  But  whether  these 
terms  referred  to  the  toivn  or  the  creek,  we  are  left  in  doubt.  We  are  inclined  to 
think  that  they  referred  to  the  town,  or  towns,  in  the  valley,  and  that  Muncy  is  but 
an  easy  transition  from  Monsey,  the  name  of  the  tribe  once  occupying  the  valley 
now  bearing  their  name. 

According  to  Schoolcraft  the  term  Oc-coh-po-cheny  is  derived  from  the  Shawanee 
language,  and  signifies  "  Hickory  ground,"  or  flats,  from  the  word  Cche-ab,  a  hickory 
tree.  The  term  Can-a-sor-ago  is  from  the  Iroquois,  and  signifies  "town  on  a  rock 
or  high  place,"  from  the  word  "Canada,"  town,  "  ar,"  rock,  and  "ago,"  a  place. 
The  fact  that  extensive  ruins  once  existed  on  a  high  bluff  near  by  would  seem  to 
prove  conclusively  the  appropriateness  of  the  name. 

Heckewelder,  in  his  glossary  of  Indian  names,  says  that  the  word  Muncy  is 
corrupted  from  Mins-ink,  signifying  "  where  there  are  Minsies. "  A  colony  of 
Monseys  drifted  up  the  stream  and  had  a  small  town  near  the  mouth  of  Orcutt's 
creek,  in  Athens  township,  Bradford  county.  They  did  not  remain  there  long,  but 
moved  westward  with  their  tribe.  The  Monsey  Indians  made  their  way  finally  to 
Indiana,  and  their  name  is  perpetuated  by  the  town  of  Muncie  in  that  State,  as  well 
as  by  the  borough  of  Muncy,  and  the  creek  and  valley,  in  Lycoming  county. 

From  the  foregoing  it  would  seem  to  be  clearly  established  that  the  stream 
derives  its  name  from  this  tribe  of  Indians,  and  in  the  absence  of  conclusive  proof  to 
the  contrary,  we  must  accept  that  idea.  The  fact,  too,  that  they  had  a  viUage  near 
Tioga,  would  indicate  that  they  frequently  traveled  up  and  down  the  creek,  and 
that  in  time  it  came  to  bear  their  name. 

The  next  great  affluent  of  the  river  from  the  north  is  what  is  known  as  Loyalsock. 
It  rises  in  Sullivan  county,  and  after  receiving  the  waters  of  numerous  tributaries, 
flows  past  the  borough  of  Montoursville  and  falls  into  the  river.  It  is  a  large  stream 
and  drains  a  wide  scope  of  country.  According  to  Heckewelder  the  name  is  cor- 
rupted from  Lawi-saquick,  signifying  the  middle  creek — that  is,  a  creek  flowing 
between  two  others.  The  name,  therefore,  is  singularly  appropriate,  as  it  lies  mid- 
way between  Muncy  and  Lycoming  creeks,  the  distance  both  ways  being  about  six 
miles.  It  is  a  historic  stream  and  has  figured  in  Indian  annals  from  the  earliest 
times.  The  aboriginal  villages  of  Ots-ion-ivak-in  and  Ots-tua-gy  were  situated  on  its 
banks — the  former  on  the  west  side  and  the  latter  on  the  east.  When  white  men  first 
visited  the  place  they  found  the  celebrated  Madame  Montour  and  her  son  Andrew 
living  in  Ots-ton-wak-in.  And  as  the  latter  received  a  grant  of  land  at  this  place 
from  the  Proprietary  government  in  consideration  of  his  valuable  services  as  an 
interpreter  and  agent,  the  place  came  to  be  known  as  Montoursville,  a  name  which  it 
still  bears.  Many  thrilling  events  occurred  on  the  banks  of  the  stream  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  present  borough  which  will  be  described  at  the  proper  place. 


Lycoming  creek,  which  lies  west  of  Loyalsock,  is  another  important  tributary, 
because  it  pours  a  large  volume  of  water  into  the  river.  Its  source  is  a  spring  about 
half  a  mile  east  of  Penbryn  station  (Carpenter's)  on  the  Northern  Central  railroad. 
The  tracks  of  a  switch  now  pass  over  it.  The  stream  is  small  at  the  beginning,  but 
as  it  flows  southward  it  gathers  strength  from  numerous  tributaries,  until  it  passes 
through  the  western  part  of  the  city  of  Williamsport  and  reaches  the  river.  The 
name,  according  to  Heckewelder,  is  corrupted  from  Legani-hanne,  signifying  sandy 
stream.  The  Delawares  called  it  invariably  by  this  name.  On  Scull's  map  it  is 
written  Lycaumick.  It  is  plainly  seen,  therefore,  how  easy  the  transition  was  to 

This  large  stream  is  noted  for  its  tortuous  course,  as  it  winds  through  the  narrow 
valley,  shut  in  by  high  mountains  on  both  sides.  When  first  visited  by  white  men 
an  impenetrable  mass  of  briers,  laurel,  and  underbrush  lined  both  shores  of  the 
creek;  and  at  several  places  there  were  great  swamps  which  were  dangerous  to 
venture  into.  At  many  places  penetrated  by  the  narrow  Indian  path,  on  the  sides 
of  the  creek  and  on  elevated  ground,  we  are  told  that  the  early  travelers  were  often 
compelled  to  creep  on  their  hands  and  feet  for  some  distance  to  get  through.  The 
overhanging  foliage  of  the  pine  and  the  hemlock  were  so  dense  as  to  darken  the  way 
and  add  to  the  discomforts  of  the  journey.  Accounts  left  by  travelers  who  were 
caught  in  these  thickets  in  dark,  stormy  weather,  depict  the  scene  as  one  not  only 
gloomy  in  the  extreme,  but  bordering  on  the  horrible. 

Zeisberger  called  it  "The  Limping  Messenger,"  and  the  "Diadachton."  AVe 
are  at  a  loss  to  account  for  the  application  of  the  first  name,  but  the  second  can  be 
explained.  The  phrase,  "Limping  Messenger"  is  used  by  no  other  writer.  This 
has  lead  to  a  theory  that  it  was  not  the  stream  he  referred  to,  but  that  a  "  messen- 
ger "  had  been  met  on  it  who  was  "  limping  "  in  his  walk.  It  is  well  known  that 
"messengers"  were  constantly  traveling  between  Shamokin  and  Onondaga  bearing 
information.  There  was  no  other  way  of  communicating  intelligence  in  those  days. 
Is  it  not  reasonable,  therefore,  to  suppose  that  at  the  point  where  the  path  over 
■  which  he  and  his  party  were  traveling  came  to  the  creek,  they  met  an  Indian  bearer 
of  dispatches  who  was  ' '  limping ' '  in  his  gait,  and  he  noted  the  fact  in  his  journal 
that  at  dusk  "we  came  to  the  'Limping  Messenger?'  "  No  other  construction  can 
be  placed  on  the  expression  that  would  seem  to  be  so  reasonable,  and  we  are  dis- 
posed to  adopt  it. 

Larry' s  creek  is  a  tributary  worth  noticing.  It  heads  in  Cogan  House  township, 
Lycoming  county,  and  empties  into  the  river  a  mile  and  a  half  east  of  the  borough 
of  Jersey  Shore.  It  has  a  number  of  affluents  and  drains  a  large  territory.  Larry's 
creek  derives  its  name  from  Larry  Burt,  an  Indian  trader,  who  had  his  cabin  near 
its  mouth.  The  early  surveyors  found  him,  but  he  soon  afterwards  disappeared. 
Tradition  says  that  he  had  an  Indian  woman  for  his  wife.  His  name  does  not  appear 
among  the  regularly  licensed  Indian  traders,  which  leads  us  to  believe  that  he  might 
have  been  an  adventurer  and  went  with  the  Indians  when  they  moved  westward. 

The  last  great  tributary  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  is  Pine  creek,  and  it 
forms  the  western  boundary  line  between  Lycoming  and  Clinton  counties  for  a  long 
distance.  It  heads  in  Potter  county  and  is  fed  by  numerous  streams  on  its  descent 
to  the  river.      Pine  creek  carries  a  greater  volume  of  water  than  any  other  tributary 


of  the  West  Branch,  and  is  entitled  to  be  called  a  mountain  river.  For  many  miles 
it  flows  through  a  wild  ravine,  with  steep  high  mountains  on  both  sides.  The  scen- 
ery is  bold  and  greatly  admired  by  travelers.  The  Indians  never  had  a  path  up  the 
fforcre  through  which  it  emerges  from  between  the  highest  mountains.  On  account  of  its 
narrowness,  there  being  barely  room  enough  for  the  stream,  it  was  very  likely  con- 
sidered inaccessible  by  the  projectors  of  Indian  paths.  The  thickets  must  have  been 
very  dense  in  aboriginal  days,  and  as  the  mountains  were  covered  from  base  to  summit 
with  a  heavy  growth  of  pine  and  hemlock,  the  gloom  which  prevailed  must  have  bor- 
dered on  night  all  the  time. 

For  many  years  this  stream  was  a  disturbing  factor  in  Indian  negotiations,  and 
caused  no  little  trouble  for  the  early  settlers  along  the  river.  When  the  purchase  of 
1768  was  made  the  Indians  claimed  that  Tiadaghton  creek,  which  was  to  be  the  line 
on  the  north  side  of  the  river,  was  Lycoming  creek.  The  commissioners  claimed 
that  Pine  creek  was  the  real  Tiadaghton,  but  the  Indians  denied  this  so  emphatically 
that  they  were  compelled  to  accept  Lycoming  as  the  line.  This  was,  no  doubt,  the 
reason  why  Zeisberger  spoke  of  it  as  the  ' '  Diadaghton  ' '  in  his  journal.  In  this  bit 
of  deception  the  Indians  exhibited  more  than  their  usual  sagacity  in  dealing  with  the 
whites.  And  it  would  seem,  too,  that  they  applied  this  name  to  Lycoming  long 
before  the  treaty  of  176S,  else  Zeisberger  would  not  have  known  to  speak  of  it  by 
that  title  in  1745,  more  than  twenty  years  before. 

Many  of  the  whites  had  a  suspicion  that  deception  had  been  practiced  in  desig- 
nating the  line  of  the  purchase,  but  as  the  treaty  called  for  Lycoming  as  the  divid- 
ing stream  they  had  to  accept  it.  The  doubt  that  prevailed  caused  many  adventure- 
some settlers  to  go  beyond  the  forbidden  line,  notwithstanding  the  Proprietary 
government  issued  a  proclamation  warning  all  settlers  that  if  they  located 
westward  of  Lycoming  it  would  be  at  their  own  risk,  and  they  must  not  expect  as- 
sistance in  the  event  of  trouble  with  the  Indians.  The  warning  did  not  deter  them 
for  they  flocked  in  and  occupied  the  country.  It  was  this  condition  of  affairs  that 
led  to  the  establishment  of  the  Fair  Play  system  for  their  own  government  and  pro- 

It  was  not  untn  the  last  treaty  with  the  Indians  at  Fort  Stanwix  in  1784  that 
they  finally  admitted  that  Pine  creek  was  the  real  Tiadaghton,  and  that  they  had 
deceived  the  whites  with  regard  to  the  line  in  1768.  The  troubles  and  litigations 
which  grew  out  of  this  aifair  will  be  more  fully  described  when  we  come  to  speak  of 
the  settlers. 

The  meaning  of  the  term  Tiadaghton  has  never  been  explained.  Heckewelder 
makes  no  reference  to  it  in  his  glossary,  and  Professor  Eeichel,  who  edited  the 
same  as  late  as  1872,  is  likewise  silent.  There  is  a  mystery  about  it  that,  probably, 
will  never  be  solved.  Heckewelder,  however,  speaks  of  Pme  creek,  and  says  that  the 
name  in  Delaware  was  Caicen-hanne,  a  2]ine  stream,  or  a  stream  flowing  through 
pine  lands.  This  was  a  very  appropriate  name,  when  we  consider  the  dense  forest 
of  pine  that  once  lined  its  banks.  The  other  name  though  unique,  if  not  poetical 
is  meaningless  to  white  people. 

On  the  south  side  of  the  river,  near  the  western  line  of  the  county,  is  a  tributary 
called  Antes  creek,  which,  though  short,  discharges  a  large  volume  of  water.  It  is 
the  outlet  for  the  waters  of  Nippenose  valley,  which  sink  beneath  the  limestone  rocks 


underlying  the  soil.  At  the  head  of  the  valley  the  accumulated  waters  emerge  in 
the  form  of  a  great  spring,  of  sufficient  power  to  drive  a  grist  mill  and  woolen  man- 
ufactory but  a  short  distance  from  the  source.  The  total  length  of  the  creek  is  less 
than  three  miles,  and  it  flows  through  a  deep,  narrow  ravine  in  Bald  Eagle  mount- 
ain. It  takes  its  name  from  the  celebrated  Col.  John  Henry  Antes,  who  was  a  con- 
spicuous as  well  as  representative  man  in  colonial  times. 

The  foregoing  comprise  the  principal  tributaries  of  the  river  in  Lycoming  county. 
Many  other  streams  of  lesser  note,  but  quite  important  in  their  commercial  and  man- 
ufacturing relations,  emptying  into  these  main  arteries,  will  receive  attention  when 
we  come  to  describe  the  minor  civil  subdivisions  of  the  county. 


With  the  victory  of  Bouquet  over  the  Indians  at  Bushy  Run  in  1763,  and  the 
occupation  of  Fort  Duquesne  soon  after,  began  the  rapid  decline  of  French  domina- 
tion in  the  northwestern  part  of  the  Province.  All  the  available  forces  on  the 
Susquehanna  had  been  withdrawn  for  the  purpose  of  aiding  this  western  expedition, 
but  as  the  hostile  Indians  were  also  called  in  that  direction  by  the  French,  the  set- 
tlers in  the  valley  suffered  no  molestation. 

On  the  way  home  in  1764,  the  officers  who  participated  in  the  expedition  held  a 
meeting  and  entered  into  an  agreement  to  make  application  for  a  grant  of  land  on 
the  West  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna,  in  consideration  of  their  services,  where  they 
could  found  a  colony  of  sufficient  strength  to  resist  any  further  encroachments  of 
the  enemy.  Each  member  of  the  compact  was  to  have  "a  reasonable  and  commodi- 
ous plantation,"  which  was  to  correspond  with  his  rank  and  subscription. 

Commissioners  were  appointed  to  lay  their  application  before  the  Proprietaries, 
which  duty  they  performed  on  the  30th  of  April,  1765.  They  asked  for  40,000 
acres  lying  on  the  West  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna.  The  Penns  felt  kindly  dis- 
posed toward  the  petitioners,  because  they  appreciated  their  services  in  saving  a 
large  portion  of  the  Province  from  the  control  of  a  troublesome  enemy,  and  they 
took  their  application  and  at  once  gave  it  thoughtful  and  careful  consideration. 

In  due  time  Thomas  and  Richard  Penn  decided  that  they  would  grant  the  appli- 
cation, providing  they  could  secure  more  land  from  the  Indians.  Commissioners 
were  appointed  to  hold  a  treaty  with  the  Six  Nations  at  Fort  Stanwix,  November  5, 
1768.  The  treaty  was  held,  and  in  consideration  of  $10,000  the  Indians  conveyed 
another  slice  of  their  territory  to  the  Penns  on  the  Susquehanna.  The  boundary 
line  is  thus  defined  in  the  deed: 

Beginning  on  the  north  boundary  line  of  the  Province  to  the  east  side  of  the  east  branch  of 
the  Susquehanna  at  the  place  called  "  Owegy,"  and  running  with  the  said  boundary  line  down 
this  branch  till  it  came  opposite  the  mouth  of  a  creek,  called  by  the  Indians  Aioadac  (Towanda) 
then  across  the  river,  and  up  said  creek  on  the  south  side  thereof,  and  along  the  range  of  hills 

called  Burnett's  Hills  by  the  English,  and  by  the  Indians ,  on  the  north  side  of  them  to 

the  head  of  the  creek  running  into  the  West  Branch,  called  Tiadaghton,  and  down  it  to  the 
river;  then  crossing  and  running  up  the  south  side  to  the  forks  which  lie  nearest  a  place  called 
Kittanning,  on  the  Ohio;  from  thence  down  the  Ohio  to  the  western  bounds  of  the  Province; 
thence  around  the  southern  boundary  to  the  east  of  the  AUeghenies  to  the  line  of  the  tract  pur- 
chased in  1758  by  the  said  Proprietaries,  and  from  thence  along  the  line  of  a  tract  purchased  in 
1749,  around  to  the  place  of  beginning. 



Much  trouble  grew  out  of  this  sale.  The  Indians  had  discovered  the  value  set 
on  their  lands  by  the  v^hites,  and  the  arts  and  arguments  used  by  difFerent  parties  to 
obtain  them.  They  therefore  determined  to  dispose  of  the  coveted  land  as  often  as 
a  purchaser  could  be  found  to  jDay  them  their  price.  Having  sold  the  Susquehanna 
valley  in  1754  to  the  Nevp  England  people,  in  1766  they  gave  the  Christian  Indians 
all  that  part  of  it  from  Wyalusing  to  above  Tioga,  and  in  1768  they  sold  the  same 
tract  again  to  the  Proprietaries  of  Pennsylvania.  These  Christian  Indians,  under 
the  protection  of  the  Moravians,  had  founded  a  town  at  Wyalusing  which  was  called 
Friedenshutten.  This  sale  resulted  finally  in  its  evacuation  and  the  flight  of  the 
Moravians  down  Muncy  creek  to  the  river,  and  up  that  stream  to  the  Great  Island, 
thence  over  the  mountains  to  Ohio.  To  show  the  extent  of  Indian  duplicity  prac- 
ticed at  that  time,  it  may  be  stated  that  the  sale  of  these  lands  was  kept  a  profound 
secret  from  the  Indians  of  Wyalusing  for  a  time,  and  they  had  no  intimation  of 
what  had  been  done  until  the  5th  of  December,  when  it  was  told  them  by  a  trader. 
They  straightway  sought  to  learn  the  truth,  but  evasive  answers  were  returned. 
After  much  parleying,  and  a  correspondence  with  the  Penns,  they  finally  became 
satisfied  that  the  lands  had  been  sold  and  they  at  once  decided  to  leave  their  settle- 
ment, not  feeling  safe  to  remain  longer  among  those  who  had  so  grossly  deceived 

Owing  to  the  importance  of  this  purchase,  and  the  chicanery  resorted  to  by  the 
Indians  to  deceive  interested  parties,  the  boundary  line  is  given.  The  tract  included 
about  sixteen  miles  in  width  of  the  Province  of  New  York,  from  the  Delaware  to  the 
Susquehanna.  Prom  the  head  of  Towanda  creek  along  Burnett's  Hills  would 
undoubtedly  be  the  range  now  known  as  the  Elk  mountains,  and  further  west  Brier 
or  Laurel  Hill.  This  is  an  unbroken  range  until  pierced  by  the  second  fork  of  Pine 
creek,  the  stream  caUed  Tiadaghton.  No  other  stream  will  answer  the  description, 
as  the  head  of  the  main  branch  of  Pine  creek  is  some  thirty  miles  northwest  of  the 
head  of  the  second  fork,  which  can  not  be  reached  by  following  the  range  of  hills 
mentioned  as  running  from  the  head  of  Towanda  creek,  and  crossing  the  main 
branch  of  Pine  creek  one  mile  below  Big  Meadows,  at  the  mouth  of  the  third  fork, . 
fifty-five  miles  from  the  river.  From  the  geography  of  the  country  the  stream 
described  as  forming  the  western  boimdary  of  this  purchase,  on  the  north  side  of 
the  West  Branch,  was  the  stream  known  as  Yarnell's  creek,  then  down  the  same  to 
the  second  fork  of  Pine  creek,  thence  to  the  river,  a  distance  of  fifty-three  miles. 
The  line  then  passed  up  the  south  side  of  the  river  to  the  Canoe  Place,  now  the  cor- 
ner of  Clearfield,  Cambria,  and  Indiana  counties,  and  thence  to  Kittanning.  This 
line  was  run  by  James  Galbraith,  by  order  of  Surveyor  General  Lukens,  April  17, 

It  has  always  been  a  question  what  was  meant  by  ' '  Burnett' s  Hills. ' '  No  expla- 
nation has  ever  been  offered.  It  is  possible  that  they  bore  some  relation  to  William 
Burnett,  who  was  Governor  of  the  Province  of  New  York  from  1720  to  1728.  He 
was  a  man  of  great  activity  and  advocated  obtaining  control  of  Lake  Ontario  in 
order  to  frustrate  the  project  of  the  French  for  establishing  a  chain  of  forts  from 
Canada  to  Louisiana.  For  this  purpose  he  began  the  erection  of  a  trading  house  at 
Oswego  in  the  country  of  the  Senecas  in   1722,  and  in   1726,  at  his  own  expense, 


^53:^,      r^v     ' 

^^HSL    ' 

^'y.ivJRliici  i  S/nU.FhS^- 


bnilt  a  fort  at  the  same  place  for  the  better  protection  of  the  post  and  traders.  He 
had  much  business  -with  the  Indians,  and  it  is  barely  possible  that  these  hills  were 
named  after  him. 

It  is  not  strange,  perhaps,  that  the  Indians  deceiyedthe  whites  by  claiming  that 
Lycoming  creek  was  what  they  called  Tiadaghton,  instead  of  Pine  creek.  The 
motive  for  this  is  apparent.  They  wanted  the  territory  between  Lycoming  and 
Pine  creeks  for  hunting  and  fishing.  It  was  a  wild  and  mountainous  region  and 
abounded  in  game  of  all  kinds.  Elk,  deer,  and  bear  were  plentiful.  The  streams 
were  numerous  and  filled  with  fish.  Their  women  and  children  devoted  much  of 
their  time  to  fishing  in  season,  while  the  young  men  engaged  in  the  chase,  and  alto- 
gether they  managed  to  secure  a  good  supply  of  food.  This  was  the  principal  rea- 
son, perhaps,  why  the  Indians  disliked  to  abandon  this  portion  of  their  domain 
lying  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  above  Lycoming  creek.  This  fact  so  tempted 
the  cupidity  of  the  Indians  that  they  were  induced  to  tell  a  deliberate  falsehood, 
when  the  law  of  self-preservation  stared  them  in  the  face.  If  the  white  man  lied  to 
cheat  the  Indians,  why  should  not  the  Indians  retaliate  by  lying  also?  was  the  logic 
they  employed.  The  lie  resulted  in  making  some  lively  times,  which  will  be 
described  in  the  proper  place. 

Montour's  eeserve. 

The  land  having  been  acquired  the  Peuns  granted  the  application  of  the  officers, 
and  on  the  3d  of  February,  1769,  it  was  ordered  by  the  Board  of  Property  that 
"Col.  Turbutt  Francis  and  the  of&cers  of  the  First  and  Second  battalions  of  the 
Pennsylvania  Eegiment  be  allowed  to  take  up  24,000  acres,  to  be  divided  among 
them  in  distinct  surveys,  on  the  waters  of  the  West  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna,  to 
be  seated  with  a  family  for  each  300  acres  within  two  years  from  the  time  of  sur- 
vey, paying  five  pounds  sterling  per  hundred  and  one  penny  sterling  per  acre." 
The  records  show  that  the  officers  agreed  to  the  terms,  and  at  a  meeting  held  at 
Fort  Augusta  in  the  latter  part  of  Febmaiy,  they  appointed  Captains  Hunter  and 
Irvine  to  accompany  William  Scull  in  making  the  survey  of  their  lands.  The  work 
of  survey  was  performed,  and  6,096  acres  set  aside  for  the  applicants  on  the  east 
side  of  the  West  Branch.  The  survey  included  what  are  now  the  boroughs  of  Milton 
and  Watsontown,  and  the  town  of  Dewart.  Samuel  Maclay  reported  that  he  had 
surveyed  8,00v  acres  in  Buffalo  valley  (now  Union  county)  and  John  Lukens  reported 
that  his  survey  on  Bald  Eagle  creek  (now  Clinton  county)  embraced  9,004  acres. 
Very  few  of  the  officers  settled  on  the  tracts  of  land  assigned  them. 

Between  the  time  of  the  confirmation  of  the  purchase  of  1768  and  the  opening  of 
the  Land  Office,  a  number  of  special  grants  to  various  individuals  for  valuable  services 
rendered  the  Proprietary  government  were  made.  Among  these  gi-ants  was  one  to 
Andrew  Montoui-  on  the  29th  of  October,  176S.  This  was  perhaps  the  first  made 
within  the  present  territory  of  Lycoming  county,  and  was  located  on  what  is  now  the 
site  of  the  borough  of  Montoursville.  It  took  in  lands  lying  on  both  sides  of  Loyal- 
sock.  According  to  the  survey  it  contained  880  acres  and  was  called  "Montour's 
Eeserve."  This  fine  grant  took  in  both  the  Indian  villages  of  Otstuagy  and  Otston- 
wakin.  The  draft  shows  that  Samuel  Purviance  claimed  lands  bounding  the 
"Reserve"  on  the  east  and  north,  and  James  Tilghman  on  the  west.  The  south- 
ern boundary  was  the  river.      This  certificate  is  appended  to  the  draft: 



Bv  virtue  of  an  order  of  survey  dated  the  39th  day  of  October,  1768,  surveyed  the  3d  day  of 
Xovember,  1769,  iinto  Andrew  Montour  the  above  described  tract  of  land,  situate  on  Loyalsock 
creek  (Stonehauger)  and  the  AVest  Branch  of  the  river  Susquehanna,  in  the  county  of  Berks, 
containing  880  acres  and  allowance  of  six  per  cent. 

Pr  VTh.  Sctli,. 

Montour  did  not  retain  the  land  very  long.  Surveyor  General  Scull  in  his  return 
says  that  the  survey  was  make  January  9,  1770,  but  a  patent  was  not  issued  till 
June  17,  1785,  the  land  in  the  meantime  having  passed  into  the  hands  of  other 
parties.  The  patent  was  granted  to  Mary  Xorris  and  Peter  Zachary  Lloyd,  and  the 
consideration  money  was  £142  7s.  9d.  The  five  pounds  sterling,  reduced  to  dollars 
and  cents,  equaled  -522.22  per  hundred  acres,  or  twenty-two  cents  for  one  acre!  At 
this  rate  '•Montour's  Reserve"  originally  cost  the  purchasers  S193.60.  Compared 
with  the  prices  prevailing  to-day,  the  reader  will  see  that  there  has  been  a  vast 
appreciation  in  value.  There  is  land  lying  within  the  limits  of  the  "Reserve"  to- 
day that  could  not  be  purchased  for  §200  per  acre,  and  lots  in  the  borough  would 
reach  a  much  higher  rate. 

The  following  extract  fi-om  the  Land  OflSce  records,  showing  the  history  of  the 
transfer,  is  of  interest  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  borough  of  Montoursville  to-day: 


TVHEREAS  by  Yirtue  and  in  Pursuance  of  an  Order  of  Survey  dated  the  Twenty-ninth 
Day  of  October.  1768,  granted  to  Andrew  Montour,  there  hath  been  surveyed  a  certain  Tract  of 
Land.  Containing  Eight  hundred  and  eighty  acres  and  allowance  of  six  per  cent,  for  roads,  &c., 
Situate  on  Loyalsock  Creek  and  the  '^Vest  branch  of  Susquehanna  river,  in  the  County  of 
Northumberland,  And  whereas  the  said  Andrew  by  the  name  of  Henry  Montour  by  Deed  dated 
12th  Augt.  1771,  Conveyed  the  same  to  Eobt.  Lettes  Hooper,  who  by  Deed  dated  27th  Feb'y, 
1773.  conveyed  to  Jos.  Spear,  who  by  Deed  dated  9th  Dec'r.  1773.  conveyed  to  James  Wilson, 
Esq'r.  who  by  Deed  dated  26th  June,  1777,  conveyed  to  Mary  Korris  who  by  Deed  dated  27th 
June  1777,  conveyed  one  Moiety  thereof  to  Peter  Zachary  Lloyd,  Esq'r,  And  the  said  Mary 
IS'orris  &  Peter  Zachary  Lloyd  have  paid  the  Purchase  Money  at  the  Rate  of  Five  Pounds 
Sterling,  per  Hundred  Acres,  with  the  Interest  thereon  due,  agreeable  to  an  .^ct  of  Assembly, 
passed  the  ninth  Day  of  April,  1781,  entitled  "An  Act  for  Establishing  a  Land  Office,  &c."  and 
a  Supplement  thereto,  passed  the  twenty-fifth  of  June,  then  next  following  THESE  are  there- 
fore to  authorize  and  require  you  to  accept  the  said  Survey  into  your  Office,  and  to  make 
Ketum  thereof  into  the  Office  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Land-Office,'  in  Order  for  Confirmation, 
by  Patent  to  the  said  ^lary  Xorris  &  Peter  Zachary  Lloyd,  And  for  so  doing,  this  shall  be  your 

IX  WITNESS  whereof,  the  Honourable  .lames  Irvine,  Esquire,  Vice  President  of  the 
Supreme  Executive  Council,  hath  hereunto  set  his  Hand,  and  caused  the  lesser  Seal  of  the 
said  Commonwealth  to  be  affixed  the  seventeenth  Day  of  June,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  0«* 

Thmisand  Seven  Hundred  and  Eighty-fite.  

JOHX  LUEENS,  Esq.  Surveyor  General. 

The  policy  adopted  by  William  Penn  in  the  early  history  of  the  Province,  was 
to  reserve  out  of  each  purchase  from  the  Indians  one-tenth  of  the  lands,  to  be  selected 
and  laid  out  in  manors  or  reserves  before  the  Land  Office  was  opened,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  making  grants  to  individuals  for  special  services,  which  were  to  be  regai'ded 
as  the  property  of  himself  and  successors  until  disposed  of.  This  practice  was  con- 
tinued, with  some  variations,  to  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution. 

lir^'CT    3Li2«OE. 

The  next  warrant,  in  the  order  of  date,  was  issued  by  John  Penn,  December  25, 


1768,  directing  the  suiTey  of  a  tract  of  land  to  be  called  Muncy  manor.  This  fine 
body  of  land  was  recommended  by  Job  Chilloway,  the  friendly  Indian  and  guide, 
and  the  words,  "  Job's  Discovery,"  were  written  on  the  draft.  Lying  at  the  mouth 
of  Muncy  creek,  it  was  considered  the  most  important  point  on  the  West  Branch,  on 
account  of  its  fine  location,  the  richness  of  the  soil,  and  the  beauty  of  the  natural 
scenery  surrounding  it.  The  river  washed  its  western  boundary,  whilst  a  chain  of 
mountains  shut  it  in  on  the  east  and  south.  It  was  also  the  converging  point  of 
Indian  paths  leading  east,  west,  north,  and  south,  and  from  the  earliest  times  had 
been  known  as  a  favorite  place  of  resort  by  Indian  chieftains  when  seeking  repose, 
or  for  the  purpose  of  counseling  with  each  other  regarding  the  condition  of  their 
people.     The  certificate  reads  : 

By  virtue  of  a  warrant  dated  the  2-4th  day  of  November,  1768,  surveyed  the  26th  and  27th 
days  of  December,  1768,  for  the  use  of  the  Honorable  the  Proprietaries  of  the  Province  of  Penn- 
sylvania, the  above  described  tract  of  land  situate  on  the  West  Branch  of  Susquehanna  River  at 
the  mouth  of  !Muncy  iilias  Cannassarago  alias  Ocochpocheny  Creek,  containing  one  thousand  sis 
hundred  and  fifteen  acres  with  allowances  of  six  per  cent.  Pk.  Wii.  Scull. 

Returned  into  the  Secretary's  office  the  8th  of  February,  1769. 


Job  Chilloway,  the  discoverer  of  Muncy  manor,  was  a  Delaware  Indian  and  a 
faithful  friend  of  the  whites  in  the  West  Branch  valley.  He  was  born  at  Egg  Harbor, 
New  Jersey,  early  in  1737,  and  in  1759  he  was  employed  as  a  spy  and  guide  by  the 
provincial  authorities.  He  learned  to  speak  English,  and  having  a  knowledge  of 
several  Indian  dialects,  made  himself  valuable  to  the  early  officers  and  settlers.  Job, 
from  long  association,  preferred  to  live  among  the  whites.  He  was  thoroughly 
acquainted  with  this  portion  of  the  State,  knew  all  the  Indian  paths,  and  frequently 
made  long  journeys  as  a  messenger  and  bearer  of  despatches.  His  personal  descrip- 
tion shows  him  to  have  been  ' '  a  tall,  muscular  man,  with  his  ears  slit  so  as  to  hang 
pendant  like  a  pair  of  ear  rings."  The  Moravians  exercised  a  good  influence  over 
him.  The  hostile  Indians  did  not  like  him,  and  when  war  prevailed  they  would 
have  killed  him  if  he  had  come  in  their  way.  His  squaw  was  named  "Betsy,"  and 
was  quite  handsome,  but  she  never  took  kindly  to  the  whites  ;  in  fact,  she  did  not 
liks  them,  and  sought  every  opportunity  to  give  information  to  the  Indians.  Her 
conduct  annoyed  Job  greatly,  and  it  is  said  he  requested  his  white  friends  not  to  be 
communicative  with  her.  She  roved  about  a  great  deal  and  finally  left  him  to  follow 
the  fortunes  of  her  race. 

Job  saw  much  military  service  before  and  during  the  Revolution,  and  was  at  the 
battle  of  Red  Bank  with  Colonel  Potter's  regiment.  Some  interesting  anecdotes  are 
preserved  of  him,  and  one  in  particular  will  serve  to  show  his  sagacity,  as  well  as 
faithfulness  to  his  white  friends.  One  day,  when  the  times  were  perilous,  he  was 
loitering  about  Antes  Fort  on  the  bluff  near  the  mouth  of  Antes  creek,  when  he  dis- 
covered a  sentinel  leaning  against  a  tree  asleep.  Quietly  slipping  behind  him  he 
reached  around  the  tree,  grappled,  and  held  him  fast.  The  sentinel  could  not  see 
who  it  was  and  was  badly  frightened.  He  struggled  to  release  himself  but  was 
unable  to  do  so.  At  last  he  discovered  that  it  was  Job,  when  he  begged  him  not  to 
inform  Colonel  Antes,  as  his  punishment  for  such  an  offense  would  be  serious.  Job 
promised  that  he  would  not  report  him,  but  took  occasion  to  remind  him  if  it  had 


been  an  enemy  that  seized  him  he  might  have  been  killed  and  scalped.  "  Yes, ' ' 
replied  the  sentinel,  ' '  I  might  have  been  caught  by  an  Indian  and  killed  and 
scalped  before  I  had  known  who  my  assailant  was. "  "It  was  an  Indian  that  caught 
you,"  replied  Job  with  a  grin,  "  but  you  may  thank  God  he  was  your  friend  !  " 

This  circumstance  so  amused  Job  that  he  would  burst  into  a  fit  of  laughter  when- 
ever he  thought  of  it.  His  frequent  outbursts  of  merriment  finally  attracted  the 
attention  of  Colonel  Antes,  and  he  asked  him  what  was  the  cause  of  it,  but  no  persua- 
sion would  induce  him  to  tell  for  a  long  time.  At  last  he  informed  the  Colonel  that 
a  serious  circumstance  had  happened  to  one  of  his  men,  but  he  had  pledged  his  word 
not  to  tell.  But  he  intimated  that  he  might  detect  the  guilty  man  by  his  counte- 
nance when  the  company  was  on  parade.  The  Colonel  scrutinized  the  countenances 
of  his  men  sharply  when  paraded,  which  caused  the  guilty  man  to  confess  what  had 
befallen  him.  The  circumstance,  and  the  manner  of  its  revealment  through  the  sug- 
gestion of  the  Indian,  so  amused  him  that  he  did  not  punish  the  man,  but  admon- 
ished him  not  be  caught  that  way  again. 

On  the  restoration  of  peace  Job  lingered  for  a  long  time  in  the  valley  engaged  in 
hunting  and  fishing,  when  he  finally  drifted  westward  and  joined  the  Moravians  at 
their  settlement  in  Ohio.  Great  injustice  has  been  done  the  memory  of  this  faithful 
Indian  by  some  writers  in  stating  that  towards  the  close  of  his  life  he  became  much 
addicted  to  strong  drink,  and  finally  was  found  dead  in  his  cabin  on  Spring  creek, 
in  what  is  now  Centre  county.  Rev.  Edmund  de  Schweinitz,  in  his  ' '  Life  and  Times 
of  David  Zeisberger, "  (page  629)  referring  to  the  deaths  of  two  noted  Christian  Indi- 
ans near  Fort  Erie,  Canada,  thus  speaks  of  Job:  "  One  was  William,  or  Job  Chillo- 
way  who  died  on  the  22d  of  September,  1792.  In  his  youth  a  special  favorite  of  Sir 
"William  Johnson,  and  one  of  his  interpreters,  he  had  joined  the  mission  in  1770,  and 
served  it  for  twenty  years  with  ability  and  faithfulness,  especially  in  negotiations 
with  heathen  chief s. "  He  was  identified  with  the  Moravian  mission  at  Wyalusing 
and  took  charge  of  the  houses  and  property  when  they  abandoned  the  place  in  June, 
1772.  It  was  no  doubt,  when  traveling  up  and  down  the  Wyalusing  path,  on  mis- 
sions to  the  settlement  at  Shamokin,  that  he  discovered  the  fine  tract  of  land  with 
the  meadow,  near  the  mouth  of  Muncy  creek,  and  reported  the  fact  to  the  Penns  or 
their  agents,  which  induced  them  to  issue  orders  to  have  a  manor  laid  out. 

A  few  days  after  the  order  to  survey  Muncy  manor  was  issued,  another  was  made, 
on  the  31st  of  January,  1769,  to  survey  1,000  acres,  one-half  of  which  was 
to  be  located  at  the  mouth  of  Lycoming  creek,  and  the  balance  in  some  other  part 
of  the  Province.  As  that  portion  of  the  survey  embraced  lands  now  lying  within  the 
limits  of  the  city  of  'Williamsport,  and  as  it  was  the  cause  of  some  litigation  in  after 
years,  the  orders  are  quoted  in  full: 

j     L.  S.      i  PeKKSTXiVANIA,  ss. 

These  are  to  authorize  and  require  you  to  survey  and  lay  out,  or  cause  to  be  surveyed  and 
laid  out  for  our  use,  the  quantity  of  one  thousand  acresof  land,  viz.:  Five  hundred  acres  thereof 
at  the  mouth  of  a  creek  known  by  the  name  of  Lycoming,  and  extending  thence  down  and  upon 
the  river  Susquehanna,  and  the  other  five  hundred  acres  in  any  part  of  the  purchase  lately  made 
at  Fort  Stanwix  of  the  Six  Nations,  that  shall  not  interfere  with  any  p^e^^ous  warrant,  and  to 
make  return  of  the  same  in  our  Secretary's  Office;  and  for  the  so  doing  this  shall  be  your  suffi 


cient  Tvarrant.  Witness,  John  Penn,  Esq.,  Lieutenant-Governor  and  Commissioner  of  Property 
of  the  said  Province,  who  by  virtue  of  certain  powers  from  said  Proprietaries,  hath  hereunto  set 
his  hand  and  caused  the  seal  of  the  Land  Office  to  be  atiixed  at  Philadelphia,  this  thirty-first 
■day  of  January,  one  thousand  seven  hundred  and  sixty-nine.  • 

To  .John  Lukens,  Esq.,  Surveyor-General. 

John  Penn. 

To  William  Scull,  Deputy  Surveyor: 

Execute  this  warrant,  and  make  return  of  survey  into  my  office. 

.John  Ltikens,  S.  G. 
February  3,  1769. 

oeite's  kibk. 

As  the  Lycoming  creek  land,  specified  in  the  order,  was  found  to  lie  a  few 
miles  west  of  Andrew  Montour's  line,  the  surveyors  on  the  20th  of  March,  1769, 
surveyed  579  acres  on  the  east  side  of  Lycoming  creek.  The  balance  was  surveyed 
in  two  tracts  elsewhere.  These  were  the  last  of  the  reserve  surveys  in  the  Province 
of  Pennsylvania. 

The  Lycoming  creek  portion  of  the  survey  included  all  the  western  part  of  Will- 
iamsport.  The  order  was  dated  January  31,  1769,  and  returned  May  5,  1770. 
On  this  survey  a  patent  was  issued  to  Kev.  Richard  Peters,  August  11,  1770,  for 
599  acres  and  called  Orme's  Kirk.  Peters,  who  was  a  great  speculator  in  land,  sold 
the  same  to  the  famous  Col.  Turbutt  Francis,  November  23,  1772.  As  he  was  a 
greater  land  speculator  than  Peters,  he  sold  the  tract  to  Hawkins  Boone,  January 
19,  1775.  Boone  was  a  descendant  of  "Squire"  Boone,  of  Exeter  township,  Berks 
county,  and  a  brother  of  the  celebrated  Daniel  Boone,  the  bold  hunter  and  explorer 
of  Kentucky.  Hawkins  Boone  fell  in  the  battle  at  Fort  Freeland.  As  he  died 
intestate  Robert  Martin,  Robert  Arthur,  and  Jean  Hardy  were  appointed  to  admin- 
ister on  his  estate.  Finding  that  the  personal  property  was  not  sufficient  to  pay  the 
debts,  they  applied  to  the  court  at  Suubnry  for  permission  to  sell  enough  land  to 
pay  off  the  indebtedness.  Authority  was  granted,  and  on  July  2,  1791,  they  sold 
287J  acres  to  William  Winter  for  £350,  "  lawful  money  of  Pennsylvania,"  and  gave 
him  a  deed  which  was  recorded  at  Sunbury,  January  1,  1792,  in  Deed  Book  E, 
page  317. 

William  Winter  was  a  brother-in-law  of  Hawkins  Boone,  his  first  wife  being 
Ann  Boone,  whom  he  married  in  1747  in  the  Province  of  Virginia.  She  died  here 
in  1771,  leaving  eleven  children,  four  sons  and  seven  daughters. 

The  reraainder  of  the  599  acres  constituted  what  was  afterwards  known  as  the 
Amariah  Sutton  farm,  and  after  undergoing  more  changes  of  ownership,  finally 
became  the  property  of  Hon.  R.  J.  C.  Walker. 




Form  of  ajc  ArPLicATios — Excitestext  axd  Rush  for  Lajtds — The  Lottery  System  Tried 
— Troxible  -with  the  IsDiAirs — Proclamation  by  the  Governor — Old  Surveys  axd 


.Joseph  Galloway's  Legal  Opinion — First  Dwelling  Houses — Penn  Defeats  Wal- 
Lis  IN  Court — Muncy  IIanor  Divided  into  Five  Tracts  and  the  Land  Ordered 
TO  BE  Sold. 

THE  custom  of  making  special  grants  of  land  to  individuals  and  selecting  choice 
tracts  for  the  personal  benefit  of  the  Proprietaries  having  been  abandoned,  a 
new  order  of  business  was  adopted.  This  was  done  for  the  piirpose  of  giving  all  a 
chance  to  apply  for  lands.  It  was  high  time  this  policy  was  adopted.  Too  much 
favoritism  had  been  shown  and  too  much  bad  feeling  engendered  thereby  for  the 
prosperity  of  the  Province.  Certain  individuals;  whose  opportunities  enabled  them 
to  be  better  informed  than  others,  took  advantage  of  their  position  to  acquire  lands 
for  speculative  purposes.  The  seat  of  the  provincial  government  was  the  headquar- 
ters of  this  class,  and  the  history  of  land  speculation  does  not  show  a  more  grasping 
set  than  those  who  existed  during  the  seventh  decade  of  the  eighteenth  century; 
and  nowhere  were  their  operations  conducted  with  more  vigor,  or  on  a  larger  scale, 
than  in  this  valley  and  the  entire  northwestern  part  of    Pennsylvania. 

It  having  been  decided  to  open  the  Land  Office  for  the  reception  of  applications, 
the  following  official  announcement  was  made: 

The  Land  Office  will  be  opened  on  the  3d  day  of  April  next,  at  10  o'clock  in  the  morning, 
to  receive  applications  from  all  persons  inclinable  to  take  up  lands  in  the  Xew  Purchase,  upon 
terms  of  five  pounds  Sterling  per  hundred  acres,  and  one  penny  per  acre  per  annum  quit-rent. 
No  person  will  be  allowed  to  take  up  more  than  three  hundred  acres,  without  a  special  license 
from  the  Proprietaries  or  Governor.  The  surveys  upon  all  applications  are  to  be  made  and  re- 
turned within  sis  months,  and  the  whole  purchase  money  paid  at  one  payment,  and  patent 
taken  out  within  twelve  months  from  the  date  of  the  application,  with  interest  and  quit-rent 
from  six  months  after  the  application.  If  there  be  a  failure  on  the  side  of  the  party  applying, 
in  either  proving  his  survey  and  return  to  be  made,  or  in  paying  the  purchase  money  and 
obtaining  the  patent,  the  application  and  survey  will  be  utterly  void,  and  the  Proprietaries  will 
be  at  liberty  to  dispose  of  the  land  to  any  other  person  whatever.  And  as  these  terms  will  be 
strictly  adhered  to  by  the  Proprietaries,  all  persons  are  hereby  warned  and  cautioned  not  to 
apply  for  more  land  than  they  will  be  able  to  pay  for  in  the  time  hereby  given  for  that  pur- 

By  order  of  the  Governor. 

James  Tilghman, 
Secretary  of  the  Land  Office, 

Philadelphia  Land  Office.  February  23,  1769. 

The  conditions  were  stringent  and  showed  the  avaricious  disposition  of  the  Gov- 

OPENING    OF    THE    LAND    OFFICE.  ■  59 

ernor.  But  their  severity  did  not  lessen  the  number  of  applicants.  The  land  fever 
had  broken  out  with  great  violence  a  year  before  the  proclamation  was  issued,  and 
scores  of  adventurers  had  flocked  up  the  river  as  far  as  Bald  Eagle  creek,  and  many 
of  them  had  marked  trees  or  driven  stakes  to  indicate  where  they  proposed  to  take 
upland.  It  was  a  knowledge  of  this  fact,  perhaps,  that  induced  the  Governor  to  be 
so  severe  in  the  terms,  thinking  that  many  who  were  unable  to  meet  the  requirements 
of  the  contract  might  be  prevented  from  entering  the  contest.  But  it  made  little 
difference.  Many  squatted  upon  their  selections  and  ran  the  risk  of  being  attacked 
by  the  savages,  or  of  losing  their  time  and  what  rude  improvements  they  might 

The  report  had  gone  abroad  through  the  lower  part  of  the  Province,  and  into 
New  Jersey,  that  the  "New  Purchase,"  as  that  portion  of  the  valley  above  Lycom- 
ing creek  was  called,  was  unsurpassed  in  beauty  and  fertility,  and  many  yearned  to 
occupy  it.      The  same  feeling  prevailed  with  reference  to  Muncy  valley. 


Books  were  opened  at  the  Land  Office  in  which  every  application  was  numbered 
and  entered,  giving  the  name  of  the  party  and  a  description  of  the  tract,  by  noting 
some  boundary  or  distinguishing  mark  to  enable  the  surveyors  to  begin.  The  price 
fixed  was  at  the  rate  of  twenty- two  cents  per  acre,  with  one  cent  for  quit  rent.  Those 
desiring  to  secure  more  than  the  allowance  (three  hundred  acres)  to  each  person 
found  a  way  to  avoid  this  restriction  by  employing  others  to  secure  lands  and  then 
transfer  their  warrants  to  them  in  consideration  of  "five  shillings."  It  being  under- 
stood that  several  applications  were  likely  to  be  made  for  the  same  tract,  a  new  diffi- 
culty Confronted  the  officers  of  the  Land  Office.  How  to  reconcile  the  applicants,  or 
establish  a  degree  of  priority,  was  a  serious  question.  Without  some  rule  to  guard 
against  conflicts  of  this  kind,  great  dissatisfaction  would  arise.  Finally  it  was  decided 
to  dispose  of  the  applications  by  lottery.  Wherever  there  was  found  to  be  more 
than  one  party  applying  for  a  tract  of  land,  the  names  were  written  on  slips,  placed 
in  a  box,  and  drawn  therefrom.  The  first  ticket  drawn  would  entitle  the  party  whose 
name  was  written  on  it  to  the  land,  when  it  was  numbered  and  entered.  This  plan, 
it  was  thought,  would  prove  more  satisfactory,  as  there  could  be  no  partiality  in 
awarding  the  application.  It  was  tried,  but  not  followed  very  long,  because  it  had 
the  effect  of  lessening  the  number  of  applicants  for  one  tract;  or  they  agreed  among 
themselves  not  to  oppose  each  other. 

The  official  form  of  an  application  for  land  was  worded  as  follows: 

No.  1085. 

Geokge  GrBANT  hath,  made  application  for  three  hundred  acres  of  land,  on  the  north  side 
of  the  West  Branch  of  Susquehanna,  joining  and  above  the  Honorable  Proprietor's  land  at 
Muncy  creek,  including  Wolf  run. 

Dated  at  Philadelphia,  this  3d  day  of  April,  1769. 

To  William  Scull,  Deputy  Surveyor:  You  are  to  survey  the  land  mentioned  in  this  appli- 
cation, and  make  return  thereof  into  the  Surveyor-General's  office  within  six  months  from  the 
above  date;  and  thereof  fail  not. 

.John  Lukens,  S.  G. 

Instructions  were  also  issued  by  the  surveyor  general,  John  Lukens,  to  the 
deputy  in  whose  district  the  tract  was  to  be  surveyed,   and  they  accompanied  the 


application.  Four  deputy  surveyors  were  appointed  for  field  work.  Their  names 
were:  William  Gray,  for  the  southeastern  part  of  the  purchase;  Charles  Stewart, 
for  the  district  lying  up  the  North  Branch;  William  Scull,  for  the  north  side  of  the 
West  Branch  above  Chillisquaque  creek,  and  Charles  Lukens,  for  the  south  side, 
bounded  on  the  south  by  the  treaty  line  of  1754.  His  district  also  extended  to  the 
head  waters  of  Bald  Eagle  creek,  and  embraced  the  valleys  of  Nittany,  Nippenose, 
Sugar,  White  Deer  Hole,  and  the  upper  part  of  Buffalo  valley. 


When  the  Land  Office  opened  on  the  3d  of  April,  1769,  there  was  a  great  rush  of 
applicants  and  excitement  ran  high.  On  the  first  day  2,782  applications  were 
received,  and  instructions  were  issued  to  the  deputy  surveyors  to  run  the  lines  for 
the  claimants.  These  claims,  it  will  be  understood,  were  for  lands  lying  in  the 
territory  secured  by  the  terms  of  the  treaty  of  1768,  and  known  as  the  "New  Pur- 
chase," because  it  was  the  last  made  from  the  Indians.  The  Proprietaries,  as  well 
as  the  claimants,  supposed  Pine  creek  was  the  line  on  the  north  side  of  the  river, 
beyond  which  they  must  not  go.  But  they  were  disappointed.  The  Indians 
claimed  that  Lycoming  was  the  creek  known  to  them  as  Tiadaghton,  and  was  the 
treaty  line  mentioned  in  the  deed;  consequently  all  the  lands  lying  west  of  Lyco- 
ming belonged  to  them.  They  vigorously  asserted  their  claim,  and  gave  notice  that 
if  settlers  went  beyond  the  line  (Lycoming)  it  was  at  their  peril.  The  Proprieta- 
ries declared  that  Pine  creek  (Tiadaghton)  was  the  line,  and  if  it  was  not  they  had 
been  misinfornied  or  deceived.  The  Indians  were  so  firm  that  the  Proprietaries 
were  forced  to  instruct  their  surveyors  to  keep  off  the  disputed  territory.  This  dis- 
pute caused  much  ill  feeling  which  lasted  for  sixteen  years,  or  until  the  last 
treaty  was  made  in  1784,  which  took  cill  the  lands  in  the  State  to  which  the  Indians 
laid  claim. 

The  settlers  on  this  disputed  territory  were  recognized  as  "  squatters;"  but,  un- 
deterred by  Indian  threats  and  the  warnings  of  the  Proprietary  government,  they 
remained  on  their  claims  and  clamored  for  the  surveyors  to  come  and  run  their 
lines.  This  they  could  not  do  in  the  face  of  positive  orders  to  the  contrary. 
The  interim  of  sixteen  years  was,  therefore,  a  period  fraught  with  fear,  un- 
certainty, and  bad  blood,  which  resulted  in  many  lawless  and  desperate  acts. 

On  account  of  the  alarming  state  of  affairs  the  Governor  felt  it  to  be  his  duty  to 
issue  a  proclamation  stating  that  ' '  several  ill  disposed  persons,  in  disobedience  to 
His  Majesty's  express  orders,  and  in  direct  violation  of  the  laws,"  had  "presumed 
to  seat  themselves  vipon  lands  within  the  limits  of  this  Province  not  as  yet  purchased 
from  the  Indians. "  And  as  the  making  of  "  such  settlements  doth  greatly  irritate 
the  Indians,  and  may  be  productive  of  dangerous  and  fatal  consequences  to  the 
peace  and  safety  of  His  Majesty's  good  subjects,"  the  Governor  called  attention  to 
an  act  of  Assembly  "  passed  for  the  purpose  of  preventing  persons  from  settling 
upon  lands  not  purchased  of  the  Indians,"  and  drew  their  attention  to  the  fact  that 
a  violation  thereof  imposed  a  fine  of  £500  and  twelve  months'  imprisonment. 

The  Governor  concluded  his  proclamation  by  ordering  all  squatters  to  ' '  imme- 
diately evacuate  their  illegal  settlements,  on  pain  of  being  prosecuted  with  the 
utmost  rigor  of  the  law."  And  he  strictly  enjoined  "  all  magistrates,  sheriffs,  and 
other  peace  officers  "  to  "  carry  the  law  into  strict  execution." 

OPENING    OF    THE    LAND    OFFICE.  61 

The  stringent  language  of  the  proclamation  did  not  in  the  least  frighten  the 
squatters  west  of  Lycoming  creek,  or  deter  others  from  entering  the  territory  to 
take  up  land.  We  are  not  informed  whether  any  arrests  were  made,  but  the  pre- 
sumption is  that  the  setters  were  not  molested  by  "  His  Majesty's  "  officers.  Their 
sympathies  were  with  the  settlers,  and  as  all  believed  the  Indian  had  "  no 
rights  that  white  men  were  bound  to  respect, "  it  would  have  been  hard  to  enforce 
the  law. 

The  applicants  were  clamoring  to  have  their  surveys  made  so  that  they  could 
occupy  their  tracts.  In  William  Scull's  district  we  find  the  surveyors  at  work  on 
Muncy  creek  in  the  vicinity  of  where  Hughesville  now  stands.  July  1st  they  were 
in  Black  Hole  bottom,  and  on  the  4th,  5th,  and  6th,  in  Nippenose.  The  first  survey 
in  Black  Hole  was  made  on  the  application  of  Elizabeth  Brown,  numbered  44,  and 
took  in  the  mouth  of  the  creek.  It  was  made,  July  4,  1769,  but  independence  had 
not  then  been  thought  of.  The  name  probably  should  be  Eleanor,  wife  of 
Matthew  Brown.     They  were  among  the  earliest  settlers. 

Applications  for  land  were  granted  until  the  31st  of  August,  1769,  when  it  was 
found  that  they  amounted  to  4,000.  As  nine-tenths  of  these  applications  were  for 
land  lying  in  the  West  Branch  valley,  the  reader  will  readily  see  what  a  rush  there 
was.  It  is  probable  that  surveys  were  not  made  on  half  the  applications;  and  it  is 
also  probable  that  four  and  five  applications  were  sometimes  made  for  the  same 
tract.  The  Land  Office  in  some  instances  ignored  their  lottery  plan  and  considered 
priority  of  claim,  and  the  first  applicant  generally  succeeded  in  securing  the  grant. 
Many  applications,  too,  were  surveyed  on  other  tracts,  several  of  which  lay  opposite 
Jersey  Shore  in  Nippenose  bottom.  The  surveyors  generally  found  a  tract  to  fit  the 
application.  An  application  cost  one  dollar  for  office  fees,  and  a  small  sum  had  to 
be  paid  to  the  guide  or  explorer.  Such  persons  were  expert  woodsmen  and  gener- 
erally  knew  where  the  best  land  was  located. 

Hawkins  Boone,  like  his  noted  brother  Daniel,  was  a  leading  woodsman  and 
■explorer.  His  calling  enabled  him  to  familiarize  himself  with  the  country,  and  he 
became  valuable  as  a  guide.  His  journeys  extended  as  far  as  Bald  Eagle,  and  Mttany, 
and  other  valleys,  and  he  visited  the  cabin  of  the  chief.  Bald  Eagle,  near  Milesburg. 
It  was  known  among  the  explorers  and  surveyors  as  "The  Nest,"  and  was  a  noted 
landmark.  In  many  cases  the  tracts  were  located  by  means  of  letters  cut  on  trees 
standing  in  a  particular  place,  or  by  other  signs,  'such  as  streams,  deer  licks,  and 
rocks,  or  whatever  the  explorers  could  select  as  a  distinguishing  mark.  Many  selec- 
tions were  not  found  for  years  afterwards,  as  the  Indians  forced  the  settlers  to  leave 
before  the  surveyors  had  completed  their  work;  and  some,  on  account  of  the  deaths 
of  the  applicants,  were  not  surveyed  in  their  names  at  all. 

In  an  old  paper  found  among  the  effects  of  Samuel  Wallis,  covered  with  drafts 
of  early  surveys  on  Lycoming  creek,  it  is  shown  that  "  H.  and  J.Thompson" 
claimed  the  applications  which  had  been  filed  by  John  James  and  Richard  Cant  well 
in  April,  1769.  The  cabins  of  the  Thompsons  are  indicated  on  the  draft,  as  well  as 
the  Indian  village  known  among  the  early  settlers  as  Eeltown.  A  number  of  other 
tracts  are  noteid,  and  the  route  of  the  Sheshequin  path  is  indicated  by  a  dotted  line. 
These  old  drafts  are  curious  relics  and  carry  us  back  to  the  period  when  all  this  por- 
tion of  the  country  about  Williamsport  was  a  wild,  with  nothing  but  the  rude  cabins 
of  a  few  pioneers  scattered  about. 



The  oldest  improvement  of  which  we  have  any  evidence  of  having  been  made 
within  the  present  limits  of  Lycoming  county  was  on  Muncy  creek,  a  short  distance 
above  its  mouth.  An  old  paper  belonging  to  the  Wallis  collection  shows  that  Den- 
nis MuUin  as  early  as  1760  "  had  taken  up  300  acres  adjoining  James  Alexander, 
and  about  two  miles  southwestward  of  land  claimed  by  Charles  Moore.' '  No  other 
evidences  of  older  claims  in  this  section  are  known  to  be  in  existence  by  the  writer. 
There  may  have  been  others,  but  it  is  doubtful.  This  was  nearly  nine  years  before 
the  opening  of  the  Land  Office  and  nearly  three  years  before  the  battle  was  fought 
with  the  Lidians  in  Muncy  Hills.  These  parties  must  have  been  early  adventurers 
from  Cumberland  county,  as  it  will  be  remembered  that  some  of  those  accompany- 
ing the  expeditions  up  the  river  for  the  alleged  purpose  of  punishing  the  Indians 
said  they  were  looking  for  places  to  take  up  land  and  settle. 

There  seems  to  have  been  some  dispute  about  the  tract  taken  up  by  Dennis 
Mullin,  judging  from  this  affidavit,  which  was  found  among  the  Wallis  papers : 

The  14tli  day  of  December,  1765,  came  before  me,  .John  Rannells,  Esq.,  one  of  his  Majesty's 
justices  of  the  peace  for  the  county  of  Cumberland,  in  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania,  Moses 
Harlan,  and  qualified  according  to  law  that  the  improvement  on  the  above  located  land  consists 
of  about  four  acres  of  cleared  land,  about  half  fenced,  and  further  this  deponent  saith  not. 

[Signed]  Moses  Haelak. 

A  note  below  the  signature  says:  "Improved  in  the  year  1760!"  James 
Tilghman,  secretary  of  the  Land  Office,  then  appends  the  following  certificate  : 

In  testimony  that  the  above  is  a  true  copy  of  the  original  location,  and  of  the  affidavit 
thereunder  written,  on  which  a  warrant  was  granted  the  1st  of  August,  1766,  to  Dennis  Mullin, 
I  have  hereunto  set  my  hand  and  seal  of  the  Laud  Ofiice  of  Pennsylvania  this  12th  day  of 
March,  1772. 

This  is  conclusive  that  the  improvement  was  made  at  that  day,  or  over  seven 
years  before  Andrew  Montour  was  granted  his  ' '  Reserve  "  at  Montoursville,  and 
nearly  eight  before  the  manor  of  Muncy  was  surveyed  and  set  apart  for  John  Penn. 

It  appears  from  the  original  deeds,  still  in  existence,  of  Robert  Roberts,  James 
Alexander,  Charles  Moore,  and  Bowyer  Brooks,  who  had  taken  up  tracts  adjoining 
Dennis  Mullin,  that  they  all  conveyed  their  claims  to  Samuel  Wallis  ' '  in  considera- 
tion of  five  shillings  lawful  money  of  the  Province."  The  surveys  were  made  in 
August,  September,  and  October,  1766.  Roberts  conveyed  313  acres.  Brooks  217, 
Moore  213,  and  Alexander  232.  These  surveys  were  not  made  by  authority  of 
Penn,  as  the  Land  Office  was  not  opened  until  several  years  afterwards,  and  surveyors 
appointed.  The  question  arises:  Who  authorized  these  surveys  and  who  did  the 
work  ?  The  claimants  were  squatters  without  authority  of  law,  and  assumed  all  risks 
of  retaining  their  scalps  and  getting  any  remuneration  for  their  claims  and  labor. 


Litigation  grew  out  of  these  early  surveys  on  Muncy  creek,  and  as  subsequent 
law  suits  showed  a  complicated  state  of  affairs,  it  is  almost  impossible  at  this  day 
to  get  at  all  the  facts.  Jonathan  Lodge  leaves  a  paper  saying  that  fti  the  summer 
of  1769  he  was  employed  as  a  deputy  surveyor  by  William  Scull,  who  sent  him  to 
Mimcy  creek,  above   and  adjoining  the  manor,  and  in  the  neighborhood,  to  make 

OPENING    OF    THE    LAND    OFFICE.  63 

surveys  for  Kobert  Guy,  John  Mourer,  Thomas  Seaman,  James  Eobb,  William 
Foulk,  Mr.  Campbell,  and  others,  who  were  with  him,  in  pursuance  of  orders  from 
the  Land  Office,  dated  the  3d  of  April,  1769.  After  arriving  on  the  ground  he  was 
met  by  Samuel  Harris  (June  16th),  who  informed  him  that  there  were  older  rights 
to  these  lands,  and  forbid  him  making  surveys.  Lodge  paid  no  attention  to  him  at 
first  and  proceeded  to  survey,  when  he  soon  found  a  tree  marked  as  a  corner, 
"  which,"  to  use  his  words,  ''  appeared  to  be  old  marks,  on  the  bank  of  Wolf  run." 
He  called  the  attention  of  those  with  him  to  the  marks  and  they  expressed  surprise. 
In  a  short  time  he  found  other  marks  which  proved  clearly  that  surveyors  had  been 
there  before  him.  He  then  proceeded  to  the  camp  of  Han  is  and  informed  him  what 
they  had  discovered.  Harris  told  him  that  the  blazed  tree  was  the  corner  of  an  old 
survey,  and  that  he  could  show  all  the  corners  if  he  would  accompany  him.  Lodge 
does  not  say  what  he  did,  but  it  is  inferred  that  he  ceased  surveying.  Harris  was  a 
historic  character.  He  was  the  son  of  the  first  John  Harris,  of  Harris's  Ferry  (now 
Harrisburg)  where  he  was  born.  May  4,  1733.  He  was  an  early  settler  on  the 
West  Branch  and  lived  for  a  long  time  at  Loyalsock.  He  took  an  active  part  in 
affairs.  In  after  years  he  removed  to  Cayuga  Lake,  New  York,  where  he  died, 
October  19,  1825.  At  Bridgeport,  on  the  shore  of  the  lake,  a  monument  was  erected 
to  his  memory. 

There  are  a  number  of  old  drafts  of  Muncy  manor  in  existence  drawn  for  the 
purpose  of  showing  how  the  lines  of  these  disputed  tracts  overlapped  the  manor  lines. 

As  the  dispute  between  Wallis  and  the  Proprietary  government  regarding  the 
legality  of  these  surveys  grew  warmer,  the  question  was  finally  submitted  to  Joseph 
Galloway,  Esq.,  a  distinguished  lawyer  of  Philadelphia,  for  his  opinion.  Wallis  had 
purchased  the  tracts  of  land  in  good  faith  and  he  insisted  upon  having  the  property. 
These  surveys  took  in  fully  one-half  of  the  Manor,  which  was  surveyed  later,  and  as 
the  land  was  valuable,  Penn  was  loath  to  let  it  slip  out  of  hia  hands.  Galloway,  after 
a  careful  examination,  submitted  a  written  opinion,  a  copy  of  which  is  still  in  exist- 
ence.     It  reads  as  follows: 

The  Land  Office  at  Philadelpliia  did  at  different  times  issue  warrants  and  orders  of  survey 
to  sundry  persons  for  locating  and  taking  up  a  quantity  of  vacant  land  in  the  county  of  Cum- 
berland, and  Province  of  Pennsylvania,  to  wit: 

1.  Warrant  to  Dennis  Mullin  for  300  acres,  dated  the  1st  day  of  August,  1T66,  and  situate 
adjoining  James  Alexander,  and  about  two  miles  southward  of  land  claimed  by  Charles  Moore, 
in  Cumberland  county. 

3.  Order  to  James  Alexander,  same  date,  for  800  acres  situate  adjoining  land  of  Dennis 
MuUin,  and  land  of  Robert  Roberts  on  the  west,  and  vacant  land  on  the  north  and  southward. 

3.  Order  to  Robert  Roberts,  same  date,  for  300  acres  situate  and  adjoining  land  of  James 
Ale.xander  on  the  eastward,  and  westward  by  land  of  Bowyer  Brooks,  and  northward  by  vacant 

4.  Ordei*  to  Bowyer  Brooks,  same  day,  for  300  acres,  situate  adjoining  land  of  Robert 
Roberts  on  the  east,  and  by  vacant  land  southward,  northward,  and  westward. 

0.  Order  to  Robert  Whitehead,  dated  March  17,  1767,  for  200  acres,  situate  and  adjoining 
land  surveyed  for  Bowyer  Brooks,  northerly,  barrens  west,  and  by  a  large  piney  hill  south  and 

All  of  which  warrants  and  orders  of  survey  were  purchased  from  the  difierent  grantees  by 
Samuel  Wallis,  as  will  appear  by  their  deeds  of  conveyance  regularly  executed,  etc.  On  the 
26th  day  of  October,  1767,  and  on  the  28th  day  of  May,  1768,  regular  surveys  were  made  in  pur- 
suance of  the  Proprietary  warrants  and  orders  upon  vacant,  unappropriated  land,  and  unpur- 


chased  of  the  Indians  by  the  Proprietaries'  regular  commissioned  deputy  surveyor,  or  by  some 
person  employed  by  him  as  a  deputj-,  which  surveys  were  certified  and  returned  into  the  sur- 
veyor general's  office  by  the  said  commissioned  deputy;  and  it  since  appears  that  they  contain 
within  their  butts  and  boundaries  a  considerable  quantity  of  overplus  land. 

On  the  2oth  day  of  September,  1768,  and  on  the  12th  day  of  April,  1770,  Samuel  Wallis 
obtained  the  Proprietaries'  patents  for  all  the  lands  so  surveyed  and  returned.  Immediatel)'  after 
the  grand  Indian  purchase  was  concluded  in  November,  1768,  the  Proprietaries'  officers  laid  out 
a  manor,  now  called  the  Muncy  manor,  which  interfered  with  a  part  of  the  foregoing  patents , 
and  such  part  of  these  patents  as  the  manor  did  not  interfere  with,  the  Proprietary's  officers 
granted  away  upon  common  orders  in  what  was  called  the  land  lottery  on  the  3d  day  of  April 
following,  to  different  people,  who  have  since  obtained  surveys  and  returns,  so  as  to  cover  the 
whole  of  the  land  so  patented  by  Samuel  Wallis.  The  Proprietary's  officer's  now  contest  the  legal- 
ity of  Samuel  Wallis's  title,  and  urge  the  following  reasons,  to  wit: 

1.    That  a  title  to  land  obtained  before  it  was  purchased  of  the  Indians  can  not  be  valid  in 
•    law,  because  it  is  contrary  to  their  common  mode  of  granting. 

3.  That  they  (the  superior  officers)  were  deceived,  or  rather  not  made  acquainted  with  the 
true  situation  of  the  laud,  but  that  the  returns  of  survey  were  blind  and  vague,  and  did  not  suffi- 
ciently describe  the  place  on  which  they  were  laid. 

3.     That  the  surveys  contain  a  considerable  quantity  of  overplus  land. 

As  to  any  particular,  fixed  mode  of  granting  away  the  Proprietaries'  lands  has  been  gener- 
ally understood  not  to  exist,  but  that  their  order  was  as  often  altered  as  it  suited  their  own  pur- 
poses, and  that  the  granting  of  lands  unpurchased  of  the  Indians  is  well  known  to  have  been 
frequently  done  by  them.  That  if  the  Proprietary's  superior  officers  were  deceived,  the  decep- 
tion was  from  their  own  inferior  officers,  and  not  from  Samuel  Wallis,  who,  in  the  obtaining  of 
these  lands,  did  in  every  respect  pursue  the  common  method  of  negotiating  business  through 
each  of  the  respective  offices.  And  as  to  overplus  land,  Samuel  Wallis  can  prove  that  he  did 
as  soon  as  he  was  made  acquainted  with  it,  offer  to  the  Proprietaries'  receiver  general  to  pay 
him  for  any  overplus  which  his  surveys  might  contain. 

The  question  then  is,  whether  or  not  the  Proprietaries,  by  their  commissioners  of  property, 
have  a  right  to  grant  lands  that  are  unpurchased  of  the  Indians,  and  when  so  granted  by  letters 
patent,  are  they  valid  in  law"?  or  whether  they  have  a  right  to  vacate  Samuel  Wallis's  patents  on 
what  is  now  called  the  Muncy  manor,  by  reason  of  their  containing  overplus  land,  when  it  does 
not  appear  that  he  was  privy  to,  or  concerned  in  any  deception  or  fraud  intended  against  the 
Proprietaries  in  obtaining  the  lands? 

Upon  the  facts  above  stated  I  am  of  opinion,  in  answer  to  the  first  question,  that  under  the 
royal  grant,  the  Proprietaries  have  good  right  to  grant  patents  for  land  not  purchased  of  the 
Indians,  and  that  there  is  no  law  depriving  them  of  that  right.  Of  course  the  above  mentioned 
patents  must  be  valid.  And  as  to  the  second  question,  I  apprehend  the  surveys  containing  a 
quantity  of  overplus  land  are  not  a  sufficient  reason  for  vacating  the  patent,  there  being  no  fraud 
in  the  purchase  in  obtaining  such  overplus,  and  more  especially  as  he  has  offered  to  satisfy  the 
Proprietaries  for  it. 

Joseph  Gtalloway. 

March  21,  1771. 


Under  date  of  December  14,  1765,  Moses  Harlan  made  an  affidavit  before  John 
Kannells,  a  justice  of  the  peace  for  Cumberland  county,  that  in  1761  the  improve- 
ment on  Bowyer  Brooks's  tract  consisted  of  "  about  four  acres  of  cleared,  half-fenced 
land;"  that  the  improvements  on  the  tract  of  Robert  Roberts,  made  the  same  year, 
consisted  of  "about  three  acres  cleared,  with  a  dwelling  house,"  and  that  there  were 
"about  four  acres  cleared  and  a  small  dwelling  house  ' '  on  the  James  Alexander  tract. 
These  houses,  although  rude  log  cabins,  were  undoubtedly  the  first  dwellings  erected 
in  what  is  now  the  territory  of  Lycoming  county.  This  was  one  hundred  and  thirty- 
one  years  ago,  and  as  they  stood  upon  Muncy  manor,  to  the  borough  of  Muncy  belongs 

OPENING    OF    THE    LAND    OFFICE.  65 

the  credit  of  having  the  first  habitations  erected  by  the  hands  of  white  men  upon  her 
site !     There  is  uo  proof  in  existence  to  show  any  older  improvements. 

In  the  warrant  to  Dennis  Mullin,  dated  Aucrust  1,  1766,  and  signed  by  John 
Penn,  these  words  occnr:  "Provided  the  land  does  not  lie  in  or  interfere  with  our 
manor  of  Lowther. "  From  this  it  appears  that  it  was  contemplated  at  one  time  to 
call  it  by  another  name  than  Muncy  manor.  Possibly  it  was  intended  to  name  it 
after  Sir  John  Lowther  Johnston,  who  was  a  son  of  Sir  George  Johnston,  the  eldest 
brother  of  William  Johnston,  who  married  into  the  Pulteney  family  and  became 
known  thereafter  as  Sir  William  Pnlteney. 


Wallis  was  not  satisfied  with  the  opinion  of  Mr.  Galloway  regarding  the  validity 
of  the  title  to  the  lands  in  question.  A  careful  reading  will  show  that  it  leaned  in 
favor  of  Penn;  but  as  he  was  willing  to  pay  damages,  as  no  fraud  was  intended,  and 
the  transactions  were  made  in  good  faith,  the  attorney  concluded  that  the  original 
patents  were  valid.  This  dispute  retarded  the  work  of  making  further  improve- 
ments on  these  lands,  and  little  was  done  until  it  was  settled.  As  Wallis  refused 
to  give  up  his  claims  a  suit  in  ejectment  was  brought  against  him,  in  which  the 
lessees  of  John  Penn  were  made  plaintiffs.  Before  trial,  however,  an  effort  was 
made,  presumably  by  Penn,  to  amicably  settle  the  dispute  by  selecting  viewers  to 
meet  at  Fort  Augusta  in  October,  1772,  and  proceed  to  examine  the  lands  and  the 
lines.  Sheriff  Nagle,  of  Berks  county,  had  selected  the  jurymen,  and  several  had 
started  for  the  place  of  rendezvous,  when  word  was  received  from  the  secretary  of 
the  Land  Office,  that  owing  to  the  illness  of  Mr.  Wallis  in  Philadelphia,  it  had  been 
decided  not  to  go  on  with  the  view.  The  sheriff  disjjatched  an  express  to  overhaul 
those  viewers  who  had  started  and  notify  them  to  turn  back.  And,  he  remarks  in 
gne  of  his  letters,  they  were  very  glad  to  get  rid  of  making  the  journey. 

From  the  papers  it  appears  that  an  amicable  settlement  was  not  effected,  and 
the  suit  came  to  trial  in  the  provincial  court  sitting  at  Reading  on  the  7th  of  April, 
1773.  A  few  of  the  subpoenas  for  jurymen  are  still  preserved,  which  show  the 
date  set  for  the  trial.  Joseph  Keed,  Esq. ,  attorney  for  Wallis,  and  Edward  Biddle, 
Esq.,  appeared  for  John  Penn. 

One  of  the  most  curious  papers  in  connection  with  -this  great  lawsuit  is  still  in 
existence.  It  contains  the  names  of  the  panel  of  forty-eight  jurors  drawn  for  that 
court,  from  which  the  jury  was  to  be  selected,  with  remarks  opposite  each  name  set- 
ting forth  the  character  and  standing  of  the  man,  and  his  qualification  to  serve  as  a 
juryman.  It  is  evidently  in  the  handwriting  of  Mr.  Wallis;  is  clear,  distinct,  and 
business-like,  and  evidently  was  prepared  as  a  guide  for  his  attorney  in  challenging 
when  the  names  were  called.  It  shows  that  no  more  confidence  was  reposed  in  jury- 
men at  that  early  day  than  now;  or  rather,  that  the  juror  who  could  be  tampered 
with  existed  at  that  time  as  well  as  the  present.  In  this  list  the  name  of  Abraham 
Lincoln  appears  with  the  remark  that  he  is  "  illiterate  and  apt  to  be  influenced  by 
the  pleadings  of  lawyers."  This  Lincoln  was  an  ancestor  of  the  illustrious  Presi- 

The  suit  went  on  and  Wallis  lost.  Penn  then  issued  an  order  to  divide  the  manor 
into  five  tracts  and  sell  them,  which  was  done. 

66  HISTOE'Y    of    LYCOMING    COUNTY. 



His  Vast  Landed  Operations  and  Remarkable  History — The  House  He  BxnLT  in 
1769  Still  Standing — His  Muncy  Farms  and  Their  Extent — How  He  Was  Ruined 
BY  James  Wilson,  a  Signer  op  the  Declaration  of  Independence —  Dies  of 
Yellow  Fever  and  His  Immense  Estate  is  Sold  by  the  Sheriep — The  Plantation 
Now  Known  as  Hall's  Farms — His  Widow  and  Family,  and  What  Became  op  Them. 

THE  most  active,  energetic,  ambitious,  persistent,  and  untiring  land  speculator 
who  ever  lived  in  Lycoming  county  was  Samuel  Wallis.  His  energy  was  mar- 
velous, and  his  desire  to  acquire  land  became  a  mania,  which  followed  him  to  the 
close  of  his  life. 

He  came  here  as  a  surveyor  in  1768,  and  noting  the  richness  and  beauty  of  the 
lands  of  Muncy  valley,  at  once  entered  upon  a  wild  career  of  land  speculation.  He 
was  of  Quaker  origin,  born  in  Harford  county,  Maryland,  about  1730.  Little  is 
known  of  his  parentage.  He  received  a  good  education  and  inherited  a  large  fortune. 
Early  in  life  he  showed  that  he  possessed  a  talent  for  business,  and  was  active  and 
untiring  in  whatever  he  undertook.  Among  other  branches  of  trade  in  which  he 
engaged  when  quite  a  young  man  was  that  of  a  shipping  merchant  in  Philadelphia. 
This  was  before  the  Revolution.  He  studied  surveying  with  a  view  to  following  that 
profession,  his  keen  business  faculties  pointing  out  to  him  that  much  work  of  this 
kind  would  be  required  in  a. new  country.  We  first  hear  of  him  with  the  surveyors 
on  the  Juniata  as  far  up  as  Prankstown  early  as  1768,  then  on  the  Indian  path  lead- 
ing from  that  place  to  the  Great  Island  in  the  West  Branch.  This  was  the  year  of 
the  "  New  Purchase,"  and  he  hurried  here  to  take  advantage  of  whatever  opportuni- 
ties offered  for  speculation  in  land.  Descending  the  river  and  noting  the  country, 
his  business  instinct  told  him  that  the  magnificent  valley  of  Muncy  was  the  place  to 
halt  and  begin  operations. 

"  MUNOT    FARMS." 

Having  taken  up  all  the  land  that  he  could  in  his  own  name,  his  next  course  was 
to  get  others  to  secure  land  in  their  names  and  then  transfer  it  to  him  by  deed  in 
consideration  of  "five  shillings."  By  this  means  he  acquired  thousands  of  acres. 
His  famous  plantation  known  as  "Muncy  Farms,"  figures  more  in  history  than 
the  balance  of  his  vast  landed  possessions.  Old  records  show  that  the  original 
warrants  for  these  tracts  were  in  the  name  of  John  Jarvis,  Jr. ,  and  they  were  first 
known  as  the  "  Jarvis  tracts."  The  place  selected  for  his  seat  was  near  what  is  now 
known  as  Hartley  Hall,  at  the  junction  of  the  Williamsport  and  North  Branch,  and 
Philadelphia  and  Reading  railroads,  three  miles  west  of  the  borough  of  Muncy  and 
ten  miles  east  of  Williamsport.      He  acquired  tract  after  tract  until  his  plantation 


numbered  7,000  acres  in  one  body.  Here  he  commenced  the  ereetiou  of  a 
stone  house  early  in  1769,  which  is  still  standing.  It  is  without  doubt  the  oldest 
house  in  the  country  to-day  and  is  a  noted  landmark.  One  or  two  houses  were  built 
two  or  three  years  earlier,  but  they  long  since  disappeared.  This  one  still 
remains  and  is  the  last  link  that  connects  the  troublous  times  of  early  colonial  days 
with  the  present  period  of  thrift  and  prosperity.  It  was  built  on  high  ground  on  an 
arm  of  the  river,  which  encloses  a  large  island,  near  the  mouth  of  Carpenter's  run. 
The  location  was  well  chosen.  A  few  hundred  yards  north  of  the  house  Fort  Muncy 
was  afterwards  erected  and  became  a  rallying  point  for  the  settlers. 

With  the  possession  of  such  a  splendid  estate  as  the  Muncy  Farms,  most  men 
would  have  been  content.  But  not  so  with  Samuel  Wallis.  His  ambition  knew  no 
bounds.  He  was  so  deeply  imbued  with  the  speculative  fever,  that  he  constantly 
thirsted  for  the  acquisition  of  more  land  and  was  ever  on  the  alert  to  make  purchases. 
Tract  after  tract  was  mortgaged  to  raise  money  to  buy  more. 

There  is  among  his  papers  an  ancient  draft  showing  the  outlines  of  a  tract  of 
5,900  acres,  which  took  in  the  ground  on  which  the  borough  of  Jersey  Shore  is 
built,  and  the  surrounding  country.  The  draft  shows  the  winding  course  of  the  river 
from  the  mouth  of  LaiTy'  s  creek  to  Pine  creek,  and  included  Long  Island.  As  it  is 
a  historic  document  of  more  than  ordinar_y  interest'  at  this  time,  showing  to  whom 
the  land  was  originally  granted,  the  description  of  the  survey,  written  upon  the 
back,  is  copied  as  follows: 

Surveyed  the  17th  &  18th  Days  of  June  in  1773,  for  Samuel  Wallis,  in  Pursuance  of 
Eighteen  orders  of  survey  Dated  the  3d  Day  of  April  1769  &  granted  to  the  following  persons, 
viz:  One  order  i^o.  1573  granted  to  Samuel  Nicholas  &  one  other  order  !N"o.  1588  granted  to 
Samuel  Xicholas.  One  Order  Xo.  1701  granted  to  Thomas  Bonnal.  One  order  No.  327  granted 
to  Joseph  Couperthwait.  One  order  Xo.  464  granted  to  "VTilliam  Wilson.  One  order  Xo.  592 
granted  to  John  Sprogle.  One  order  Xo.  318  granted  to  Thos  Morgan.  One  order  No.  118 
granted  to  Richard  Setteford.  One  order  Xo.  1147  granted  to  John  Cummings.  One  order 
Xo.  1373  grated  to  Samuel  Taylor.  One  order  Xo.  2231  granted  to  Joseph  Knight.  One  order 
Xo.  107  granted  to  AVilliam  Porter.  One  order  Xo.  807  granted  to  Joseph  Paul.  One  order 
Xo.  2127  granted  to  Henrj-  Paul,  Junr.  One  order  Xo.  724  granted  to  Joseph  Hill.  One  order 
Xo.  608  granted  to  Isaac  Cathrall.  One  order  Xo.  1546  granted  to  Benjamin  Cathrall  &  one 
order  Xo.  1558  granted  to  Peter  Young. 

Beginning  at  a  marked  Elm  standing  on  the  Xorth  side  of  the  West  Branch  of  Susque- 
hanna above  and  to  the  mouth  of  Larry's  Creek  &  Turning  thence  X.  45°  E.  400  p.  thence  X. 
6  7W.  310  p.  thence  S.  77  W.  765  p.  thence  S.  51  W.  700  p.  to  Pine  Creek  thence  Down  the  said 
creek  by  the  several  courses  thereof  to  the  mouth  thereof,  thence  down  the  northerly  side  of 
the  West  Branch  of  the  River  Susquehanna  by  the  several  courses  thereof  to  the  place  of 
beginning  at  the  mouth  of  Larry's  Creek  containing  &  laid  out  for  five  Thousand  Xine 
Himdred  acres  with  Allowance  of  six  acres  p  cent  for  Roads  and  Highways. 

The  description  of  this  large  and  early  survey  is  signed:  "  John  Lukens,  Esq., 
Surve}-?)r  General,  by  order  and  direction  of  Jesse  Lukens,  per  Samuel  Harris." 

The  draft  shows  the  river  and  Pine  creek  along  the  two  sides  of  the  survey;  the 
large  island  in  Pine  creek,  the  almost  obliterated  island  in  the  river  at  the  mouth  of 
Pine  creek,  and  the  Long  Island  opposite  Jersey  Shore,  as  well  as  the  mouth  of 
Aughanbaugh's  run,  a  stream  which  is  now  but  a  mere  rivulet,  "Nepenosis" 
creek,  and  Larry's  creek. 

The  names  of  a  few  of  the  original  holders  will  be  recognized,  because  some  of 
their  descendants  yet  live  in  this  county.      But  the  majority  are  strangers.     They 


took  up  the  land  for  speculative  purposes  and  soon  disposed  of  it  according  to  the 
custom  of  the  times. 


Another  curious  paper,  in  the  form  of  an  affidavit,  recites  the  circumstances  of 
a  hunting  accident  which  occurred  on  the  19th  of  September,  1769.  John  Dallam, 
of  Baltimore  county,  Maryland,  the  affiant,  states  that'  on  the  previous  evening 
Samuel  Wallis,  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis,  John  Farmer,  William  Beaver,  and  a  negro 
man,  met  at  the  house  of  Samuel  Wallis,  v?hen  John  Farmer  and  John  Dallam 
agreed  to  go  in  search  of  bears  on  Muncy  creek  early  in  the  morning  of  the  19th. 
Joseph  Jacob  Wallis  and  William  Beaver  also  made  preparations  to  go  along.  It 
was  agreed  vyhich  v?ay  each  party  would  travel,  so  that  they  might  not  shoot  each 
other  before  it  was  daylight.  Farmer  and  Dallam  decided  to  go  to  Muncy  creek, 
while  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis  said  he  would  go  up  the  run  above  the  house,  and  Beaver 
said  he  would  follow  on  another  run  close  by.  Dallam  then  said  to  Beaver :  "  So 
you  have  aimed  to  have  a  chance  at  Selim,"  (meaning  a  buck  they  saw  at  the  head 
of  the  run  the  day  before,)  upon  which  Beaver  answered  "yes,"  and  so  they 
parted,  leaving  Beaver  with  the  rest  of  the  party.  Farmer  and  Dallam  parted  in 
the  woods  and  were  gone  several  hours.  When  Dallam  returned  about  10  o'clock, 
he  was  met  at  the  door  by  Samuel  Wallis,  who  appeared  to  be  greatly  agitated,  and 
on  being  asked  what  the  trouble  was,  he  replied  that  William  Beaver  had  been  shot 
by  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis  in  mistake  for  a  bear!  Dallam  then  went  inside  the  house, 
where  he  saw  the  dead  body  of  Beaver,  which  had  been  brought  in  from  the  woods. 
Wallis  declared  that,  although  it  was  an  accident,  he  could  not  get  over  it  as  long  as 
he  lived. 

Beaver's  body  was  decently  interred  that  afternoon.  Who  he  was,  or  whence  he 
came,  is  unknown.  The  affidavit  was  made  and  sworn  to  for  the  purpose  of  showing 
how  the  man  came  to  his  death,  though  it  does  not  say  that  affiant  witnessed  the 
killing.  His  place  of  burial  is  supposed  to  have  been  in  what  is  now'  Hall's  ceme- 
tery, and  very  likely  he  was  among  the  first,  if  not  the  first  man,  buried  there. 

Joseph  Jacob  Wallis  was  a  half-brother  of  Samuel  Wallis.  He  married  a  daugh 
ter  of  John  Lukens,  surveyor  general,  and  they  had  a  son  who  was  named  John 
Lukens  Wallis.  He  was  the  first  white  male  child  born  west  of  Muncy  Hills  in 
1773.  He  grew  to  manhood  and  married  Mary  Cooke,  a  daughter  of  Col.  Jacob 
Cooke,  a  distinguished  patriot  of  the  Eevolution.  John  Lukens  Wallis  was  one  of 
the  heirs  15f  John  Lukens,  and  was  cut  oflF  in  his  will  by  the  word  "propitious." 
There  were  seven  heirs  and  the  estate,  which  was  large,  was  to  be  divided  among 
them  at  the  most  "propitious"  time,  but  it  never  came  in  their  lifetimes.  John 
Lukens  Wallis  was  a  great  lover  of  the  chase  and  made  ' '  a  happy  hunting  ground 
of  this  earth."  He  died,  July  27,  1863,  and  lacked  but  four  months  and  three  days 
of  being  ninety  years  old.     His  remains  lie  in  the  cemetery  at  Hughesville. 

One  point  settled  by  the  affidavit  is  that  the  Wallis  house  was  built  in  1769,  for 
Dallam  says  that  on  the  18th  of  September  of  that  year  they,  (meaning  the  party,) 
were  "  at  the  house  of  Samuel  Wallis,"  and  made  arrangements  to  go  on  the  hunt. 

Another  is  that  colored  men  were  here  at  that  early  day,  for  mention  is  made  of 
a   "negro  man"  being  at  the  Wallis  residence  when  the  hunting  party  was  organ- 

^"S-ifJMMia  tSmSh^- 

m^  Jft 

SAMUEL    WALLIS,    THE    LAND    KING.  71 

ized.  This  man  probably  was  a  slave,  for  Wallis  had  several  on  his  great  planta- 
tion. An  old-  receipt  found  among  his  papers  shows  that  on  April  23,  1778,  he 
purchased  "Mary,"  a  "negro  woman,"  from  George  Catto,  for  "one  hundred  and 
twenty  pounds  current  money  of  Maryland."  In  the  receipt  Catto  states  that  Mary 
left  him  and  "went  to  Philadelphia  with  the  British  army  in  September." 



When  Samuel  Wallis  purchased  the  Munoy  Farms  and  built  his  stone  house,  he 
was  a  single  man,  for  on  the  1st  of  March,  1770,  he  married  Miss  Lydia  Hollings- 
worth,  of  Philadelphia,  and  brought  her  to  his  house  on  the  Susquehanna.  It  was  a 
wild  region  at  that  time  for  a  bride.  But  she  seems  to  have  been  a  practical  woman, 
possessed  of  good  sense,  and  soon  adapted  herself  to  the  new  situation.  Their 
home  became  a  haven  of  rest  for  weary  travelers;  and  there  they  continued  to  reside, 
with  only  occasional  interruptions  during  the  Indian  troubles,  almost  to  the  close  of 
the  century,  and  dispensed  a  liberal  and  elegant  hospitality  for  the  rude  times  in 
which  they  lived.  Mr.  Wallis  early  became  a  leading  man  in  the  valley.  On  the 
24th  of  January,  1776,  he  was  appointed  captain  of  the  Sixth  company  of  the  Sec- 
ond battalion  of  the  Northumberland  County  Associated  Militia,  James  Potter,, 
colonel,  for  the  protection  of  the  frontier.  He  represented  his  county  in  the  Assem- 
bly in  1776,  which  met  at  that  time  in  Philadelphia.  He  also  filled  many  minor 

His  life  was  one  of  great  activity.  He  was  constantly  expanding  his  land  oper- 
ations, and  never  seemed  to  despair  of  meeting  his  heavy  obligations,  notwithstand- 
ing many  men  would  have  sunk  under  the  weight  which  pressed  upon  him.  So  vast 
was  his  business,  and  so  great  his  speculations,  that  at  one  time  he  owned  or  con- 
trolled nearly  every  acre  of  ground  lying  along  the  river — except  a  few  small 
tracts — from  Muncy  creek  to  Pine  creek,  including  the  Susquehanna  bottom,  besides 
thousands  of  acres  in  other  portions  of  the  State.  His  name  was  known  far  and 
wide,  and  he  was  looked  upon  as  the  land  king  of  the  State. 

In  1774  Samuel  Wallis  and  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis,  his  half  brother,  entered  into 
an  agreement  to  engage  jointly  in  farming  and  stock  raising  on  the  Muncy 
plantation.  The  article  shows  that  the  partnership  was  to  last  for  eleven  years, 
beginning  on  the  1st  of  January,  1774.  All  the  "servants,"  stock,  farming  uten- 
sils, etc.,  which  were  on  the  farm  were  to  be  valued  at  their  original  cost,  and  an 
estimate  of  the  value  of  the  crops  was  also  to  be  made.  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis, 
"  the  party  of  the  other  part,"  was  to  pay  one-half  of  the  full  amount  of  the  valua- 
tion, "estimate  aad  original  costs  of  the  servants,  stock,  etc."  Each  of  the  said  par- 
ties were  to  have  equal  privilege  and  share  of  the  dwelling  house  for  their  families, 
and  all  costs  and  expenses  which  might  arise  in  the  "  purchase  of  servants,"  stock, 
and  other  incidental  charges  necessary  for  conducting  the  farm  were  to  be  equally 
borne  by  the  respective  parties.  All  the  ' '  servants  ' '  aud  other  property  purchased 
by  Samuel  Wallis  previous  to  entering  into  the  agreement,  were  to  be  the  joint 
property  of  the  parties,  and  all  moneys  arising  from  the  sales  of  produce  were  to  be 
equally  divided.  In  consideration  of  Samuel  Wallis  giving  to  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis 
for  the  term  of  eleven  years  "one-half  of  the  benefits  and  advantages  of  a  well 
improved  farm,"   the  latter  agreed  to  undertake  the  sole  care  and    management 



of  the  '■  said  farm  and  premises  for  their  joint  benefit,  except  at  such  times"  as 
Samuel  Wallis  might  choose  to  be  there,  when  the  said  parties  were  to  "  manage  in 
conjunction."  It  was  also  agreed  that  their  accounts  should  be  settled  annually; 
but  in  the  case  of  the  death  of  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis,  then  the  partnership  was  to  be 
dissolved  and  everything  connected  with  it  equally  divided  between  the  heirs  of 
the  said  parties. 

The  article  was  duly  signed  by  the  respective  parties  after  binding  themselves  in 
the  penal  sum  of  £1,000  each  for  its  faithful  observance.  But  a  difficulty  evidently 
arose  after  the  execution  of  the  agreement,  for  the  signatures  are  partially  torn  off 
and  the  word  "  canceled"  is  written  on  the  back.  No  reasons  are  given  for  its 
abrupt  tennination.  The  most  important  feature  of  this  instrument,  and  the  reason 
reference  is  made  to  it  in  this  connection  is  that  it  establishes  the  fact  beyond 
doubt  that  'Mx.  Wallis  was  the  owner  of  the  slaves,  else  why  would  he  speak  of  the 
cost  of  servants,  which  were  his  "property,"  and  make  it  obligatory  for  his  partner 
to  pay  one-half  of  their  value  ?  This  is  the  first  evidence  we  have  of  slaves  being 
brought  to  this  valley  at  that  early  date.  That  they  came  a  few  years  later  in  con- 
siderable numbers  there  is  abundant  evidence. 

Farming  at  that  time  was  not  a  very  pleasant  business.  The  country  was  largely 
a  mlderness,  and  hostile  Indians  were  constantly  prowling  about  to  murder  the 
settlers  and  destroy  their  improvements.  When  the  great  flight  took  place  in  1778, 
known  in  history  as  the  "'Big  Kunaway,"  ilr.  Wallis,  like  all  others,  was  forced  to 
abandon  his  improvements  to  the  mercy  of  the  savages  and  seek  a  place  of  safety. 
His  house  was  not  destroyed,  because  it  was  buUt  of  stone  and  the  walls  were  very 
thick  and  strong,  as  may  be  seen  by  examining  it  at  the  present  day.  Yery  likely 
the  roof  was  burned  and  the  casings  defaced,  but  they  were  easily  replaced. 

That  Wallis  quickly  returned  on  the  restoration  of  peace  and  renewed  the  work 
of  making  improvements,  is  shown  by  a  draft  for  a  mill  found  among  his  papers. 
The  site  selected  was  just  below  the  canal  aqueduct  over  Carpenter's  run,  a  few 
hundred  yards  east  of  his  house,  and  a  portion  of  the  excavation  for  the  race  is  stUl 
visible.  According  to  the  draft,  which  is  a  quaint  piece  of  drawing,  it  called  for  a 
building  "  20x24  feet,  with  glass  windows,  two  doors  4x6^  feet,  and  a  chimney, 
clear,  5x6i  feet  9  inches.  Light  holes  and  shutters,  2x2^  feet.  Water  house,  cog-pit, 
gate  hole,  mantle  piece  and  shaft,"'  all  clearly  specified  and  indicated  by  letter  on  the 
plan.  For  the  machinery  "  120  cogs,  3  inches  square  and  13  inches  long,  together 
with  40  round  cogs  3  inches  in  size  and  16  inches  long.  The  whole  to  be  of  good, 
tough  hickoiy,  well  seasoned."  The  specifications  further  called  for  "  12  oak  boards 
one  inch  thick;  17  inch  boards  and  15  feet  long  for  water-wheel  buckets;  SOO  feet  of 
well  seasoned  pine  boards,  6  pieces  of  pine  scantling  4|  inches  square,  16  feet  long, 
well  seasoned,  if  possible."  It  was  also  specified  "that  the  mill  irons  should  be  sent 
to  the  smiths  to  be  repaired  and  altered  according  to  directions  to  be  given  by  Mr. 
Antes."  From  this  statement  it  is  inferred  that  the  irons  were  second-handed,  and 
that  Colonel  Antes,  who  had  built  a  mill  previous  to  this  time  at  the  mouth  of  Antes 
creek,  was  entrusted  with  the  work  of  getting  the  new  mill  under  way.  The  plans 
and  specifications  were  signed  by  George  W.  Hunter,  The  mill  was  built  in  1785, 
and  although  it  was  a  small  affair,  it  doubtless  did  good  service  in  those  early  days. 

That  the  stone  dwelling  house  was  not  destroyed  after  its  abandonment  to  the 

SAMUEL    WALLIS,    THE    LAND    KING.  73 

enemy,  is  further  proven  by  a  contract  still  in  existence,  made  with  one  Thomas 
Sisk,  a  plasterer  of  Philadelphia,  on  the  27th  of  June,  1787,  to  proceed  to  Muncy  Farm 
and  '•  plaster  certain  buildings."  It  is  probable  that  the  house  was  not  plastered  at 
the  time  it  was  erected,  owing  to  the  inability  of  the  owner  to  secure  the  services  of 
a  plasterer,  and  the  lack  of  facilities  to  do  the  work. 

The  contract  was  witnessed  by  Laurence  Ross  and  Matthew  Conroy,  and  there  is 
nothing  on  record  to  show  that  it  was  not  carried  out  according  to  the  terms.  One 
of  the  houses  plastered  at  that  time  has  long  since  disappeared,  but  the  stone  house 
still  stands. 


Who  Laurence  Ross  was  is  not  known,  but  it  is  possible  that  he  was  the  father  of 
Michael  Ross,  afterwards  the  founder  of  Williamsport.  It  is  well  known  that 
JVIichael  Ross  (if  not  his  father)  was  long  in  the  employ  of  Samuel  Wallis,  and 
through  him  he  got  his  start  in  life.  This  is  only  a  theory  but  the  circumstances 
are  such  as  to  make  the  conclusion  appear  reasonable. 

February  8,  1773,  the  application  of  Joseph  Schute  for  300  acres  was  conveyed 
to  Samuel  Wallis,  and  on  May  8,  1776,  was  by  him  conveyed  to  Michael  Ross  for  five 
shillings  and  other  valuable  considerations;  also  the  application  of  Samuel  Richards 
for  300  acres  of  land  above  the  mouth  of  Toby's  creek,  dated,  April  3,  1769,  was 
conveyed  to  Wallis,  and  on  May  8,  1796,  was  by  him  conveyed  to  Michael  Ross  for 
five  shillings  and  other  valuable  considerations.  There  is  no  positive  evidence  to 
establish  it,  but  it  is  believed  that  the  Toby's  creek  referred  to  is  what  is  now  known 
as  Grafius  run,  which  passes  through  the  central  part  of  Williamsport.  The  fact 
that  Michael  Ross  afterwards  located  on  this  tract  and  founded  the  city,  lends  color 
to  the  supposition. 

After  an  unusually  busy  life  Samuel  Wallis  died  at  Philadelphia,  October  14, 
1798,  aged  sixty-seven  years,  eight  months,  of  yellow  fever  contracted  while  on  a 
visit  to  North  Carolina  to  look  after  his  great  creditor,  James  Wilson.  On  his  return 
he  stopped  at  a  lonely  inn  and  was  put  in  a  bed  where  a  man  had  died  with  the 
fever  but  a  few  days  before! 

His  wife,  who  had  shared  in  his  triumphs  and  sorrows  for  twenty-eight  years,  was 
called  upon  to  undergo  more  trials  and  tribulations.  She  survived  him  about  four- 
teen years.  Her  death  occurred,  September  4,  1812,  at  the  home  of  her  daughter, 
Mrs.  Cassandra  Smith,  at  Milton.      She  was  aged  sixty-eight  years  and  five  months. 

Thus  closed  the  mortal  careers  of  two  of  the  earliest  and  most  prominent  settlers 
within  the  limits  of  Lycoming  county.  They  bore  a  conspicuous  part  in  the  days  of 
trial  and  their  names  are  inseparably  linked  with  our  early  history.  Samuel  Wallis 
and  Lydia  Hollingsworth  left  the  following  issue: 

1.  Mary,  born  April  25,  1771,  in  Philadelphia.  She  married  Dr.  William  Kent 
Lathey,  June  30,  1800.  He  was  a  native  of  Exeter,  England,  where  he  was  born, 
January  29,  1772,  and  died  at  Northumberland,  July  28,  1809. 

2.  John,  born  March  20,  1775.  Never  married.  Died,  September  14,  1810, 
at  Northumberland. 

3.  Cassandra,  born  October  6,  1776,  at  Muncy  Farm.  Married  Daniel  Smith, 
Esq. ,  an  attorney,  who  lived  at  Milton. 


4.  Sarah,  born  August  19,  1778,  at  Elkton,  Maryland,  whither  the  mother  and 
family  had  fled  during  the  Indian  troubles  in  the  valley.  She  grew  up  to  be  a  very 
beautiful  woman,  and  married  Gen.  Hugh  Brady,  of  the  United  States  Army,  and 
died  at  Detroit,  August  25, 1833.  She  left  five  children,  and  her  descendants  still  live 
in  that  city. 

5.  Hannah,  born  February  21,  1781,  at  Philadelphia.  Married  William  Miller 
in  1816,  Eev.  John  Bryson,  of  Warrior  Run  church,  performing  the  ceremony. 
Died,  February  28,  1859,  at  Muncy.  They  had  three  children  who  became  of  age, 
viz.:  Cassandra  S.,  who  married  J.  Roan  Barr,  of  Muncy;  Samuel  W.,  now  residing 
at  Waverly,  New  York,  and  Susan  H.,  who  married  Joseph  Stauffer,  of  Muncy,  and 
died  in  1865. 

6.  Samuel  Hollingsworth,  born  January  18,  1784,  at  Philadelphia.  He  studied 
medicine  and  became  a  practicing  physician.  Married  Elizabeth  Cowden,  April  17, 
1807.  Dr.  Wallis  died  at  Dunnstown,  Clinton  county,  April  19,  1832,  and  was 
buried  in  the  Friends'  burying  ground  at  Penn's  Dale,  Lycoming  county.  He  left  a 
son  and  a  daughter,  viz. :  Mary,  who  married  PhiUip  Shay,  and  Cowden  Smith  Wal- 
lis. Mrs.  Shay  left  one  son,  W.  Field  Shay,  Esq. ,  now  an  attorney  at  Watsontown, 
Northumberland  county.  Cowden  S.  Wallis  died  at  Muncy,  April  24,  1862.  He 
left  the  following  children:  Sarah  C. ;  MaryM. ;  Elizabeth;  Roberta;  Samuel  H. 
(died  December  15,  1887,)  and  Howard  R.,  the  civil  engineer.  They  all  reside  at 
Muncy.  Dr.  Samuel  H.  Wallis  was  the  grandfather  of  these  descendants,  and  Sam- 
uel Wallis,  the  pioneer,  was  their  great-grandfather,  but  he  left  but  two  sons,  John 
and  Samuel  Hollingsworth,  to  perpetuate  his  name.  John  never  married.  The 
last  son  did  and  left  two  sons,  one  of  whom  is  deceased.  The  .  other,  Howard  E. , 
survives  and  has  one  son,  so  that  the  name  is  likely  to  be  continued. 

Samuel  Wallis  left  a  very  large  estate,  consisting  almost  entirely  of  lands,  but  as 
they  were  heavily  encumbered,  it  proved  a  very  difficult  one  to  settle.  John  Wallis, 
his  eldest  son,  Daniel  Smith,  his  son-in-law,  William  Ellis,  and  John  Adlum,  were 
appointed  administrators. 

The  administrators  qualified  and  entered  upon  their  difiicult  and  intricate  task. 
After  satisfying  themselves  of  the  condition  of  the  estate,  they  made  a  report  to  the 
orphans'  court  of  Lycoming  county,  sitting  at  the  April  term,  1799,  in  these  words: 

"  That  according  to  the  debts  and  credits,  which  they  had  been  able  to  learn,  and  from  the 
value  of  the  personal  estate  as  appraised  by  persons  legall)'  appointed  and  returned  into  the  of- 
fice of  the  clerk  of  the  court,  it  appeared  that  the  estate  of  Samuel  Wallis  was  indebted  in  the 
sum  of  £33,798  13s  3i^d,  and  that  the  debts  due  the  estate  amounted  to  about  the  sum  of  £99,904 
14s;  that  the  amount  of  the  personal  property  returned  by  the  appraisers  was  £2,933  ISs  lOd." 
They  said  furthermore:  "The  amount  of  the  debts  which  the  estate  owed  far  exceeded' the 
amount  of  the  value  of  personal  property;  that  the  debts  owing  the  estate  were,  many  of  them, 
against  persons  supposed  not  to  be  able  to  pay  them  to  their  full  amount;  that  none  of  the  said 
debts  co"uld  be  recovered  until  suits  were  brought,  and  of  course  could  not  be  collected  for  some 
time;  that,  on  the  other  hand,  the  debts  owing  bj'  the  estate  had  many  of  them  been  put  in  suit 
during  the  life  time  of  Samuel  Wallis  and  judgments  obtained  thereon  and  executions  issued — 
particularly  a  judgment  at  the  suit  of  Charles  Bitters,  on  which  about  §20,000  remained  due; 
and  one  at  the  suit  of  Ruth  Piret,  executrix  of  Palatiah  Webster,  on  which  about  |18,000  re- 
mained due.  On  each  of  these  suits  executions  had  been  issued  and  levies  made  on  the  man- 
sion house  and  adjoining  property,  otherwise  than  by  a  sale  or  mortgage  of  part  of  the  lands. 
They  therefore  prayed  the  court  to  make  an  order  authorizing  them  to  mortgage  anj'  lands  for 
a  sum  not  exceeding  one-third  of  the  value  thereof,  or  sell  the  lands  of  deceased  bought  by  him 

SAMUEL    WALLIS,    THE    LAND    KING.  75 

at  slierifl's  sale  in  August,  1798,  in  Luzerne  county,  for  which  lands  a  sheriff's  deed  had  been 
executed  to  the  administrators  in  trust  for  the  heirs,  in  order  to  pay  off  the  executions." 

On  the  2d  of  May,  1799,  the  court  granted  the  petition,  and  directed  the  admin- 
istrators to  give  four  weeks'  notice  in  the  Gazette  of  Luzerne  county,  and  in  a  paper 
in  Philadelphia,  there  being  no  paper  published  in  Lycoming  county. 

In  addition  to  his  own  large  personal  business,  Wallis  had  served  as  agent  for 
the  Holland  Land  Company  a  long  time,  and  in  order  to  raise  money  to  carry  on 
their  business  he  had  mortgaged  his  plantation  known  as  the  Muncy  Farms.  The 
Holland  Land  Company  was  largely  interested  in  western  lands.  It  was  composed 
of  capitalists  in  the  United  Netherlands,  who  had  advanced  large  sums  to  Robert 
Morris,  the  financier  of  the  Revolution,  and  at  its  close,  either  from  choice  or  neces- 
sity, received  payment  in  lands  in  western  New  York  and  Pennsylvania.  In  the 
History  of  Venango  County  we  are  informed  that  the  first  lands  acquired  in  Penn- 
sylvania consisted  of  a  number  of  1,000  acre  tracts  east  of  the  Allegheny  river  in  the 
purchase  of  1784. 

The  same  work  informs  us  that  one  of  the  largest  transactions  in  the  history  of 
Pennsylvania  land  titles  was  a  purchase  aggregating  half  a  million  acres,  negotiated 
for  this  company  in  1793  by  its  agents  at  New  York,  Herman  Leroy  and  William 
Rayard,  from  James  Wilson,  of  Philadelphia,  a  judge  of  the  United  States  Supreme 
court.  The  land  in  question  consisted  of  912  tracts  of  430  acres  each  lying  on 
French  creek  and  the  Allegheny  river  (History  of  Venango  County,  page  76),  which 
John  Adlum  had  agreed  to  secure  for  Judge  Wilson  by  a  contract  bearing  date 
April  26,  1793.  In  Deed  Book  A,  pp.  62-66  (Lycoming  county),  will  be  found 
an  article  of  agreement  entered  into  with  certain  parties  to  survey  one  and  a  half 
million  acres  lying  on  both  sides  of  the  Allegheny  mountains.  Adlum  was  engaged 
for  some  time  in  making  the  survey,  after  which  he  acquired  land  near  the  Wallis 

When  the  Holland  Land  Company  commenced  winding*  up  its  business  it  was 
able  to  pay  all  its  debts.  But  from  some  cause  not  clearly  understood,  Samuel 
Wallis  allowed  Judge  Wilson  to  assume  the  debt  owed  him  by  the  Land  Company. 
And  on  settlement  a  mortgage  was  executed  by  James  Wilson  to  Samuel  Wallis  for 
22,000  acres  of  land,  being  an  undivided  part  of  300,000  acres  in  Northumberland 
county,  (now  Lycoming,)  which  were  a  part  of  the  million  and  a  half  acres  already 
referred  to. 

This  land  was  subject  to  a  mortgage  given  by  Judge  Wilson  to  John  Adlum, 
February  3,  1793,  to  secure  860,000.  Some  time  elapsed  before  Wallis  could  get  a 
final  settlement  with  Wilson.  An  elaborate  statement  of  the  account  is  still  among 
his  papers.  All  the  items  are  given  in  detail  and  fill  six  large  folio  pages.  The 
statement  shows  that  the  first  article  of  agreement  between  James  Wilson  and 
Samuel  Wallis  was  dated  April  14,  1793,  and  the  second  April  1,  1795. 

The  account  was  audited  by  referees  —  Joseph  Thomas,  attorney  for  James 
Wilson,  and  T.  Duncan,  Jr. ,  for  Samuel  Wallis,  who  signed  the  same  July  6,  1797. 
The  report  provides  an  allowance  of  twenty  days  for  filing  exceptions.  The  account 
as  stated  showed  a  debt  of  £116,077  17s  2M  and  a  credit  of  £27,577  Is,  leaving  a 
balance  in  favor  of  Mr.  Wallis  of  £88,500  16s  2J-d.  This  shows  how  vast  his  busi- 
ness was  for  that  period.      An  affirmation  on  the  back  of  the  statement  made  before 


Isaac  Howell,  an  alderman  of  Philadelphia,  August  16, 1797,  sets  forth  that  on  July 
21,  1797,  at  Burlington,  New  Jersey,  Samuel  Wallis  delivered  a  copy  of  the  account 
to  the  "  Hon.  James  Wilson,"  in  the  presence  of  William  Johnson,  who  made  the 
copy  from  the  original,  and  up  to  that  date  he  had  not  been  served  with  any  written 
objections.  The  notations  by  the  auditors  appear  on  the  margin  written  in  a  neat 
and  delicate  hand.  The  statement  bears  this  indorsement  on  the  back  :  "  On  the 
21st  day  of  last  July  I  received  a  copy  of  this  account.  James  Wilson,  1st  Septem- 
ber, 1797."     The  signature  of  Mr.  Wilson  is  clear  and  distinct. 

The  account  recites  the  items  of  expense  for  securing  titles,  locations,  surveys, 
court  costs,  traveling  expenses,  interest  on  money  advanced,  etc.,  for  James  Wilson 
and  the  HoUand  Land  Company,  between  the  second  fork  of  Sinnemahoning  and 
Boston;  on  locations  west  of  the  Allegheny  river  and  Conewango  creek;  on  the 
Mahopeny  and  Bowman's  creek,  in  "Westmoreland  county;"  on  Sugar  creek, 
Luzerne  county;  on  Loyalsock  creek;  in  Huntingdon  county,  besides  several  trans- 
actions with  John  Adlum  at  Fort  Franklin. 

At  the  final  meeting  between  Wallis  and  Wilson,  tradition  informs  us,  the  latter 
said  that  he  did  not  have  money  enough  to  wipe  out  all  his  indebtedness,  but  he 
could  pay  one-half  in  cash,  or  furnish  him  (Wallis)  with  wild  lands  for  the  whole 
debt.  No  papers  were  signed,  but  they  separated,  evidently  expecting  to  meet  again 
soon  and  close  up  their  business. 

Here  comes  the  most  mysterious  part  of  this  strange  business  transaction.  Judge 
Wilson,  who  was  a  member  of  the  Supreme  court  of  the  United  States  by  appoint- 
ment of  General  Washington,  started  for  North  Carolina  to  hold  court.  But  his 
mind  seems  to  have  been  so  greatly  disturbed  that  he  resolved  to  end  his  life.  He 
was  found  dead  in  bed  at  Edenton,  North  Carolina,  August  28,  1798,  from  an  over- 
dose of  laudanum.  This  was  less  than  a  year  after  his  meeting  with  Wallis  for  the 
purpose  of  making  a  final  settlement. 

Judge  Wilson  was  a  man  of  high  legal  attainments,  conspicuous  as  a  member 
of  Congress,  and  a  signer  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence.  His  sudden  death 
was  the  beginning  of  grave  troubles  for  Mr.  Wallis,  which  culminated  in  the  sacri- 
fice of  a  magnificent  estate. 

Had  the  acting  administrators  for  Wallis — Smith  and  Ellis — shown  more  busi- 
ness tact,  it  is  believed  they  might  have  saved  a  portion  of  the  estate.  Creditors 
commenced  clamoring  for  their  money  and  pushed  their  claims.  Finally  a  writ  was 
issued  by  the  Supreme  court  of  Pennsylvania,  directed  to  Henry  Vanderslice,  sheriff 
of  Northumberland  county,  and  that  officer  seized  "  a  part  of  that  valuable  body  of 
land  commonly  called  the  Muncy  Farm,"  and  advertised  it  for  sale,  at  Willi amsport, 
on  the  3d  of  May,  1802.  The  sale  bill,  a  copy  of  which  is  still  in  existence,  says  that 
the  tract  contained  about  3,900  acres,  and  extended  for  five  miles  along  the  river 
between  Loyalsock  and  Muncy  creek,  and  also  comprised  an  island  in  the  river 
called  Spring  island.  The  land  was  sold  in  tracts  for  the  convenience  of  purchasers, 
and  the  conditions  were  "  one-half  part  of  the  purchase  money  to  be  paid  to  the 
sheriff  at  the  time  and  place  of  sale;  otherwise  the  premises  to  be  immediately 
re-sold,  etc. ,  and  the  remaining  part  of  the  purchase  money  to  be  paid  to  the  sheriff 
on  the  return  day  of  the  writ,  to  wit,  the  first  Monday  of  September  next,  at  the 
court  house,  in  the  city  of  Philadelphia. ' ' 



The  Muncy  Farm  tracts  were  numbered  from  one  to  eight,  and  those  in  Bald 
Eagle  township  from  nine  to  fourteen.  No.  8  was  the  tract  on  which  the  mansion 
house  was  situated,  together  with  "barn,  stables,  and  outhouses,"  and  contained 
about  700  acres.  The  sale  took  place  according  to  announcement  and  the  bill  of 
sale,  which  is  still  in  existence,  is  given  herewith : 

Charles  Bitters  for  the  use  of  Mahlon  Hutchinson  versus  Samuel  WaUis,  Supreme  Court  of 


Acct.  of  the  sales  of  the  real  property  of  S.  Wallis  made  by  Henry  Vanderslice  at  Will- 
iamsport  on  the  3d  and  4th  days  of  May,  1802,  in  pursuance  of  his  advertisement,  dated  at 
Sunbury,  17th  of  April,  1802. 

Sales  made  on  the  3d  of  May,  1803,  viz: 

No.      9  containing;  310  acres.     Sold  to  Thos.  Grant, 




















156  p. 




































Sales  made 














a        u           ((              (( 

((        u           a              u 

((           ((                ((                    (C 

u       ((          u             a 

t(         u            u               u 

It        u           it             a 

a        u           ((              u 

Sold  to  Thos.  Grant, 


,  for   §883.67 


'       353.00 







'  1,803.00 
'    1,661.00 


'    1,653.00 

'  2,012.00 
'    3,014.00 


'    1,703.00 


'    1,525,00 


,  for   $301.00 



'    4,502.00 

Acres        -        -      5,766  156  p.  §19,188.67 

Thomas  Grant,  who  was  a  resident  of  Sunbury,  and  afterwards  sherifE  of 
Northumberland  county,  made  the  purchase  for  Henry  Drinker,  a  prominent  land 
speculator,  and  creditor. 

That  splendid  domain  of  nearly  6,000  acres  brought  less  than  $4  per  acre.  To- 
day the  greater  portion  of  it  could  not  be  bought  for  $200  per  acre!  What  an 
appalling  sacrifice!  The  proceeds  of  the  sale  fell  far  below  the  indebtedness  of  the 
estate  and  left  the  heirs  penniless. 

A  letter  written  by  John  Wallis  and  Daniel  Smith,  the  acting  administrators,  to 
Henry  Drinker,  under  date  of  March  10,  1803,  states  that  "the  Muncy  Farm  con- 
tained in  one  connected  body  7,561  acres,  and  the  debt  and  interest  due  on  the 
mortgage  was  £4,443  16s  8d."  The  farm  extended  to  Loyalsock.  Spring  island 
contained  about  500  acres.  After  deducting  Grant's  purchase  at  sheriff's  sale,  2,300 
acres  remained  unsold.  The  letter  recites  at  great  length  the  encumbered  condition 
of  the  estate,  and  refers  by  name  to  the  holders  of  various  mortgages,  liens,  execu- 
tions, etc.,  including  claims  of  servants  for  pay.  The  letter  continues:  "The 
2,300  acres,  although  much  inferior  to  those  purchased  by  Grant,  are  neverthe- 
less valuable,  and  depressed  as  the  price  of  land  is,  and  speaking  with  our  hands  on 
our  hearts,  we  solemnly  declare  that  we  believe  the  3,960  acres  purchased  by  Grant 
to  be  worth  at  a  cash  valuation  $20  per  acre.  This  estimate  is  low,  and  we  believe 
that  indifferent  persons,  good  judges  of  lands,  would  make  the  price  higher.  But, 
further,  it  is  to  be  remarked  that  the  amount  of  Grant's  purchase  is  $19,188.67  !" 

78  HISTORY    OF    LYcfoMIN'G    COUNTY. 

That  the  appeal  of  the  administrators  failed  to  soften  the  hearts  of  the  creditors, 
or  excite  sympathy  on  the  part  of  Drinker,  is  evident,  for  nothing  appears  to  have 
been  done  to  stay  the  ruinous  storm  which  was  sweeping  over  the  estate  and  every- 
thing available  was  finally  swept  away.  There  were  those  who  harbored  resentful 
feelings  against  Wallis  and  they  seemed  to  take  pleasure  in  seeing  his  wife  and 
children  driven  from  under  the  roof  which  had  so  long  sheltered  them. 

From  the  tone  of  a  letter  written  in  January,  1805,  by  Henry  Drinker  to  Robert 
Coleman,  it  appears  that  he  was  tired  of  his  purchase  and  anxious  to  sell.  He 
admitted  that  the  title  for  the  "valuable  estate  formerly  possessed  by  Samuel  Wal- 
lis  "  was  now  vested  in  him.  He  enclosed  a  map  of  the  farm  and  a  description  of 
the  several  subdivisions.  "  I  may  own  I  have  been  greatly  disappointed  in  my 
expectations  respecting  this  estate,  having  for  many  years  entertained  an  opinion 
and  heard  it  described  as  equal  if  not  superior  to  any  farm  in  this  State,"  he  writes, 
"and  under  this  impression  believed  it  would  invite  numerous  purchasers,  and  com- 
mand a  speedy  sale;  especially  as  it  was  agreed  to  offer  it  at  rates  much  lower  than 
lands,  neither  equal  in  quality,  nor  so  well  situated,  had  been  selling  for."  "It  is 
true,"  he  adds,  "many  applications  have  been  made  by  persons  who  wished  to  be 
indulged  with  extended  payments  for  a  considerable  part  of  the  money,"  but  in  his 
situation,  and  under  the  pressure  of  heavy  advances  made  by  him  "to  remove  and 
relieve'""  Mr.  Coleman's  "  estate  from  every  incumbrance,"  distant  payments  could 
not  be  assented  to.  He  then  proposed  to  sell  to  Mr.  Coleman  on  easy  terms,  but 
does  not  state  them  in  the  letter.  "  Several  wealthy  farmers,"  he  adds,  had  been 
treating  with  him  for  a  large  part  of  the  estate  with  the  view  of  founding  a  colony 
or  community,  but  had  given  up  the  project.  He  then  closed  his  letter  by  soliciting 
an  offer  from  Mr.  Coleman. 

Among  the  many  old  papers  in  the  Wallis  collection  bearing  on  this  subject,  is 
one,  now  yellow  with  age,  containing  this  endorsement:  "Henry  Drinker  and  wife 
to  Robert  Coleman."  It  is  dated  November  IS,  1805,  over  eleven  months  after  his 
January  letter  was  written,  and  gives  the  "  courses  and  flistances"  of  "the  several 
tracts  of  land  in  Muncy  township,"  purchased  by  them  "in  consideration  of  £11,558 
Is  4d."  This  is  the  only  paper  found  in  the  collection  which  mentions  the  price 
paid  for  the  farms,  aside  from  the  sheriff's  bill  of  sale. 

Another  paper,  signed  by  the  administrators,  contains  a  proposal  to  Robert  Cole- 
man to  "sell  a  quantity  of  land  at  a  place  called  the  Long  Reach,  on  the  West 
Branch  of  the  Susquehanna,  at  84  per  acre."  The  proposal  states  that 
Mr.  Coleman  "  heard  a  description  of  the  quality  of  the  land  when  last  at  Lyco- 
ming." This  sum  they  "  deemed  to  be  not  more  than  one-third  part  of  its  real 
value,"  but  they  "would  rather  take  it  than  run  the  risk  of  an  approaching  sacri- 
fice. ' '  They  informed  him,  furthermore,  that  they  would  "  have  the  lands  sold  on 
the  earliest  judgment  and  bought  iu,  and  conveyed  to  him  by  the  purchaser.  There 
are  at  least  1,200  acres  free  from  dispute  as  to  title — perhaps  something  more.  It 
must  also  be  understood  that  these  lands  are  subject  to  the  purchase  money  due  to 
the  Commonwealth.  It  may  be  necessary  also  to  state  that  this  sum  must  be  paid 
in  cash,  and  §4,800  must  be  at  Williamsport  on  the  3d  of  May  next."  Signed  and 
dated,  April  27,  1802. 

Some  uncertainty  existed  for  a  long  time  as   to  where  these  lands  were  located 


it        it 

"      6th  October,  1769, 

"    310 

((         (( 

"     lath  March,     1770, 

"     310 

((       11 

"      9th  August,  1769, 

"    338 

it           u 

"    30th  August,  1772, 

"    331 

SAMUEL    WALLIS,    THE    LAND    KING.  79 

on  the  ''Long  Reach."  All  doubt,  however,  was  removed  recently  by  the  discovery 
of  a  beautifully  executed  draft  among  the  Wallis  papers, which  shows  that  they  were 
located  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  and  embraced  what  is  known  as  the  "Upper 
Bottom,' '  lying  opposite  the  present  village  of  Linden.  The  line  commenced  a 
short  distance  above  the  present  borough  of  DuBoistown,  and  continued  up  the  river 
for  967  perches,  taking  in  all  the  rich  alluvial  lands  now  embraced  in  the  highly  cul- 
tivated farms  of  the  Messrs.  Gibson  and  others.  There  were  five  tracts  surveyed 
for  Samuel  Wallis  in  the  right  of  sundry  persons,  April  3,  1769,  and  a  table  is  given 
on  the  draft  as  follows: 

Jacob  Heltzheimer,  conveyed  tq  Samuel  Wallis  by  deed  dated  5th  October,  1769,  acres  313 

Mary  Litton,  "         "        "  " 

William  Lofflin,  "        "        "  ' 

Jacob  Steel,  "        "        "  ' 

Ann  Stamp,  "        "        "  ' 

Lands  belonging  to  Andrew  Culbertson  bounded  the  tracts  of  Ann  Stamp  and 
James  Steel  on  the  south,  and  William  Hepburn  on  the  west.  These  five  tracts 
were  sold  on  the  2d  and  3d  of  May,  1802,  in  Williamsport,  by  Sheriff  Vanderslice, 
and  purchased  by  Thomas  Grant. 

The  fact  that  these  lands  were  offered  at  the  low  price  of  .|4  per  acre 
shows  how  the  administrators  were  pressed,  and  how  they  struggled  to  raise  money 
to  pay  off  claimants  and  save  a  fraction  at  least  of  the  estate  from  sacrifice.  That 
Mr.  Coleman  missed  a  splendid  bargain  there  is  no  doubt,  for  to-day  these  lands  are 
among  the  choicest  lying  on  the  river  and  would  readily  sell  for  $200  an  acre. 

Two  other  beautifully  executed  drafts  show  that  Wallis  also  acquired  all  the 
lands  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  from  Lycoming  creek  to  a  point  above  ' '  Level 
Corner,"  where  the  Pine  Creek  railroad  cuts  through  the  rocks  on  the  estate  of  the 
late  John  King.       These  lands  were  also  designated  as  lying  on  the  "  Long  Reach." 

The  line  of  the  survey  of  the  first  tract  commenced  at  a  point  on  Lycoming  creek, 
on  the  west  side,  and  ran  up  near  where  bridge  No.  1  of  the  Northern  Central  rail- 
road crosses  the  stream,  or  as  the  survey  designates  it,  "opposite  the  point  of  the 
first  large  hill. "  This  took  in  the  present  residence  of  George  W.  Youngman,  Esq. 
The  line  then  turned  and  followed  the  route  of  the  present  public  road  "  to  a  marked 
locust  on  the  bank  of  the  river  a  small  distance  below  the  mouth  of  Cuinasha- 
haque  run,  thence  down  the  river  by  the  several  courses  to  the  place  of  begin- 
ning." The  "  survey  was  made  on  the  22d  and  23d  days  of  June,  1773,  for  Samuel 
Wallis,  in  pursuance  of  seven  orders  of  survey  dated  the  3d  day  of  April,  1769," 
and  contained  2,328  acres.  The  name  of  the  seven  persons  to  whom  the  applications 
where  granted  appear  on  the  draft,  but  they  are  not  familiar  names  of  to-day. 

After  much  negotiating  an  agreement  was  finally  reached  between  Drinker  and 
Coleman,  and  the  latter  purchased  the  mansion  house  property  and  presented  it  to 
his  daughter  Elizabeth,  wife  of  Charles  Hall,  Esq.,  of  Sunbury.  Other  portions 
of  the  farm  were  purchased  from  time  to  time  and  added  to  the  original,  until  the 
estate  comprised  about  six  thousand  acres  and  it  came  to  be  known  as  "Hall's 
Farms. "  After  the  death  of  Charles  Hall,  in  1821,  his  widow  and  her  twelve  chil- 
dren removed  to  the  farm,  which  she  improved  and  carried  on.  At  her  death  the 
estate  was  divided  among  her  children,  and  a  portion  of  it  is  still  held  by 


Such  in  brief  is  the  history  of  the  career  of  Samuel  Wallis  and  the  princely 
estate  he  founded.  Had  it  not  been  for  his  mistake  in  refusing  to  accept  one-half 
of  the  amount  which  Wilson  owed  him — and  which  he  offered  to  pay  him  in  cash — 
he  might  have  been  able  to  discharge  the  bulk  of  his  obligations  and  saved  enough 
of  his  estate  to  make  his  family  comfortable.  But  when  he  died  misfortunes  seemed 
to  multiply  and  everything  was  finally  swept  away  by  the  stern  mandate  of  the  law. 
The  heirs  realized  nothing  and  his  widow  died  penniless ! 





First  Pcblic  Egad  to  Lycoming  Creek — Names  of  the  Viewers — First  Gtrist  Mrti. 
— Original  Settlers  at  MtrsrcY — Flight  of  the  Moravia2^s — Begesxcsg  of  the 
EEVOLmox — Military  Coitpast  from  the  "West  Bras^ch — Tlm  Mosphy  Kjlls  Gex- 
ERAi  Frazer — PixE  Creek  Declaration  op  Ixdepexdence — Fithian's  Visit. 

THE  year  1769  having  closed,  the  system  of  filing  applications  for  land  ceased 
with  it  also,  and  in  1770  the  work  of  issuing  warrants  commenced.  These 
were  busy  times  at  the  Land  Office.  The  conditions  were  fully  set  forth  in  the  war- 
rant, which  was  signed  by  the  Governor  and  the  seal  of  the  Land  Office  attached. 
The  original  was  filed  in  the  surveyor  general's  office,  and  a  copy  directed  to  th& 
deputy  in  the  district  where  the  land  was  located,  for  which  the  warrant  had  been 
granted.  When  it  was  doubtful  where  the  land  lay  they  were  in  many  cases  directed 
thus:  "  To  the  proper  deputy  surveyor,"  and  he  was  supposed  to  be  able  to  find 
the  land.  In  the  scramble  for  land  great  confusion  often  ensued,  and  in  many 
instances  sharp  practices  were  resorted  to  by  applicants  to  secure  eligible  locations, 
especially  along  the  river. 

The  year  1770,  therefore,  was  one  of  great  activity.  Settlers  commenced  pour- 
ing in  from  the  lower  counties,  and  from  New  Jersey;  in  fact,  a  very  large  number 
who  settled  along  the  river  on  land  now  embraced  in  the  county  of  Lycoming  came 
from  the  latter  State.  They  were  attracted  by  the  reports  of  explorers  concerning- 
the  beauty  of  the  valley,  the  richness  of  the  soil,  and  the  ease  by  which  land  could 
be  obtained  by  the  warrant  system.  Among  the  very  earliest  squatters  on  a  tract 
at  the  upper  end  of  the  borough  of  Jersey  Shore  was  a  man  named  James  Ann- 
strong,  who  made  some  improvements.  James  Alexander  ascended  Pine  creek  a 
short  distance  and  built  a  cabin  on  what  is  now  the  Tomb  estate.  When  the  Indian 
troubles  broke  out  he  disappeared.  Simon  Cool  settled  at  the  mouth  of  Larry's 
creek  and  very  likely  took  possession  of  the  premises  abandoned  by  Larry  Burt,  the 
Indian  trader,  who  had  followed  his  retreating  red  friends. 



As  early  as  1769  the  Susquehanna  Land  Company,  of  Connecticut,  decided  to 
found  a  colony  in  the  West  Branch,  as  they  claimed  that  their  territory  extended 
from  Wyoming  to  that  point  and  beyond.  One  authority  states  that  they  resolved 
to  send  540  emigrants  to  Wyoming,  300  of  whom  were  to  have  lands  as  a  gratuity 
in  the  West  Branch  valley.  Two  townships,  named  Charleston  and  Judea,  were 
surveyed  in  1771.  They  embraced  the  Muncy  settlement.  A  few  settlers  came, 
but  there  are  no  records  to  show  the  exact  number.  There  were  a  number  in  the 
Warrior  run  district,  and  their  leaders  intimated  their  intention  to  hold  the  country, 
if  they  had  to  resort  to  force.  At  first  this  portion  of  the  Province  was  not  included 
in  the  limits  of  Westmoreland  by  the  Connecticut  grant,  which  extended  only  fifteen 
miles  beyond  the  North  Branch.  Later,  however,  an  act  was  passed  by  the  Con- 
necticut council  to  extend  the  limits  of  the  town  of  Westmoreland  as  far  westward 
as  the  line  fixed  upon  with  the  Indians  at  the  treaty  of  1768.  This  took  in  the 
West  Branch  territory  as  far  westward  as  Lycoming  creek. 

The  presence  of  these  Wyoming  settlers  was  not  agreeable  to  those  who  had  pre- 
ceded them,  and  bad  feeling  between  them  was  the  result.  They  were  looked  upon 
as  interlopers,  or  invaders  of  a  territory  that  did  not  belong  to  them.  Finally  the 
feeling  among  the  original  settlers  assumed  such  a  pitch  that  they  remonstrated 
against  the  ' '  Connecticut  invasion, ' '  as  they  termed  it,  by  petitioning  Eichard 
Penn,  then  acting  Governor,  for  legal  redress  and  protection.  They  charged  that  a 
large  body  of  armed  men  had  invaded  this  territory,  and  intimated  that  if  they  were 
not  protected  by  the  government  they  would  resort  to  arms  to  defend  themselves  and 
their  rights.  The  petition  was  laid  before  the  Board  of  Council,  June  9,  1773,  and 
after  careful  consideration  the  Board  decided  to  lay  the  matter  before  the  Assembly, 
accompanied  by  a  message  from  Governor  Penn.  The  Governor  was  very  emphatic 
in  his  declarations  and  denounced  the  act  of  invasion  as  an  "  insolent  outrage  by  a 
set  of  men  who  had  long  bid  defiance  to  the  laws  of  the  country,' '  and  closed  by 
recommending  that  they  be  repelled  by  force,  as  their  presence  threatened  the 
"destruction  of  that  infant  county,"  and  "the  peace  of  the  whole  Province."  The 
Assembly  instructed  the  Governor  to  issue  a  proclamation  requesting  the  magistrates 
of  Northumberland  county  to  be  vigilant  in  the  discharge  of  their  duty,  and  see  that 
the  intruders  from  Wyoming  no  longer  imposed  upon  the  Pennsylvania  settlers. 

Zebulon  Butler,  the  Connecticut  leader,  also  issued  a  proclamation  and  distributed 
it  through  Northumberland  county,  annoimcing  that  he  had  been  appointed  a  justice 
by  the  authorities  of  Connecticut.  To  counteract  this  "  manifesto,"  Governor  Penn 
issued  a  proclamation  forbidding  the  people  to  pay  any  attention  "  to  this  usurper," 
as  he  had  no  right  to  exercise  the  functions  of  a  justice  in  the  Province. 

Excitement  continued  to  increase  among  the  people.  The  Connecticut  colonists 
were  determined  to  occupy  the  land  and  the  Pennsylvania  settlers  were  resolutely 
determined  that  they  should  not.  The  former  insisted  that  the  land  belonged  to 
them,  the  latter  that  it  did  not,  and  they  determined  to  expel  them  by  force  of  arms 
if  they  did  not  leave. 

At  last  it  became  evident  that  the  intruders  did  not  intend  to  obey  the  orders  to 
leave,  but  were  preparing  to  bring  300  colonists  to  the  valley.  Samuel  Wallis  gave 
information  to  this  effect  and  warned  the  authorities  to  be  on  the  alert.     Dr.  Plun- 


kett,  who  was  serving  as  president  judge,  was  informed  Ihat  large  reinforcements  had 
arrived,  when  a  force  of  fifty  men  was  despatched  from  Fort  Augusta  to  "  meet  and 
demand  the  reason  of  this  intrusion  and  hostile  appearance. ' '  Colonel  Pluukett 
accompanied  the  expedition  under  orders  from  the  government  to  destroy  the  settle- 
ments at  Charleston  and  Judea.  How  much  resistance  was  offered  is  nowhere 
stated,  but  it  must  have  been  small,  as  only  one  man  was  reported  killed  and  several 
of  the  Connecticut  people  wounded.  After  burning  the  buildings  and  collecting 
what  property  he  could,  Colonel  Plunkett  returned  to  Sunbury  with  a  number  of 
prisoners.  The  women  and  children  were  sent  to  their  friends  at  Wyoming.  William 
Judd  and  Joseph  Sluman,  the  leaders,  were  captured  and  sent  to  jail  in  Philadelphia. 
This  broke  up  the  Connecticut  settlement  on  the  West  Branch. 


The  rush  of  settlers  continued  during  the  years  1771  and  1772,  and  the  popula- 
tion soon  became  so  great  along  the  river  that  the  settlers  began  to  clamor  for  the 
erection  of  a  new  county.  Berks  and  Cumberland  counties  embraced  the  territory, 
and  their  seats  were  too  far  away.  Eesidents  on  the  east  of  the  Susquehanna,  north 
of  Lancaster,  were  in  Berks,  whilst  those  on  the  west  side  belonged  to  Cumberland. 
The  idea  of  going  to  Beading  and  Carlisle,  over  almost  impassable  roads,  for  the 
transaction  of  county  business,  could  no  longer  be  entertained.  Finally  an  act  was 
passed  by  the  Assembly  on  the  21st  of  March,  1772,  erecting  a  new  county  out  of 
parts  of  Berks,  Bedford,  Cumberland,  Lancaster,  and  Xorthampton,  to  be  called 
Northumberland.  The  name  selected  was  in  honor  of  the  most  northerly  county  of 

The  county  seat  was  established  at  Fort  Augusta  and  the  courts  ordered  to  be 
held  in  the  fort  until  a  court  house  could  be  built.  The  Governor  was  authorized 
to  nominate  a  competent  number  of  justices,  any  three  of  whom  could  hold  the 
several  courts  on  the  fourth  Tuesday  of  February,  May,  August,  and  November. 
The  first  court  met,  April  9,  1772,  as  a  "private  sessions  of  the  peace,"  in  the 
"  twelfth  year  of  the  reign  of  our  Sovereign  Lord.  George  the  Third,  etc. ,"  when 
it  was  announced  that  a  commission  had  been  received  from  the  Governor  appoint- 
ing justices  to  hold  the  several  courts.  Dr.  William  Plunkett  was  chosen  president. 
One  of  the  first  motions  was  to  divide  the  new  county  into  seven  townships,  one  of 
which  was  named  Muncy.  It  embraced  an  extensive  territory,  out  of  which  a  large 
number  of  townships  have  since  been  made.  At  that  time  it  was  probably  the  most 
thickly  settled  portion  of  the  West  Branch  valley.  The  first  constable  appointed 
was  James  Robb.  He  resided  in  the  Muncy  settlement  and  became  quite  conspicu- 
ous afterwards.  Amariah  Sutton  and  John  Alward  were  appointed  road  overseers. 
The  first  lived  on  the  east  bank  of  Lycoming  creek,  and  the  latter  at  Muncy. 


The  first  court  of  general  quarter  sessions  was  held  at  Fort  Augusta,  May  26, 
1772;  and  the  first  important  business  that  came  before  it  for  consideration  was  a 
petition  from  "sundry  inhabitants  of  the  West  Branch  of  Susquehanna  and  places 
adjacent,"  setting  forth  the  inconvenience  they  labored  under  for  want  of  public 
highways,    and  praying  that  proper  persons  should  be  appointed  "  to  view  and  lay 


out  a  road  from  the  end  of  the  road  lately  opened  from  the  head  of  Schuylkill  to 
Fort  Augusta,  across  the  North  Branch  of  the  River  Susquehanna  to  the  main  point 
opposite  Fort  Augusta,  thence  up  the  easterly  side  of  the  West  Branch  of  said  river 
to  the  line  of  the  late  Indian  purchase  at  Lycoming."  The  court  appointed 
Richard  Malone,  Marcus  Hulings,  Jr.,  John  Robb,  Alexander  Stephens,  Daniel  Lay- 
ton,  and  Amariah  Sutton  to  lay  out  the  proposed  road.  Those  that  did  exist  at  that 
time  were  little  better  than  bridle  paths  and  followed  the  principal  Indian  trails. 
The  proposed  road  on  which  a  view  was  ordered  was  authorized  at  the  October  term, 
1772.  It  was  to  be  thirty-three  feet  wide,  but  it  does  not  appear  to  have  been  laid 
out  for  some  time  afterwards,  for  we  find  that  Lieut.  Col.  Henry  Antes  and 
others  were  appointed  at  the  August  sessions,  1775,  "to  view,  and  if  they  saw  cause, 
to  lay  out  a  bridle  road  from  the  mouth  of  Bald  Eagle  creek  to  the  town  of 
Sunbury. ' ' 

This  order  evidently  led  to  the  construction  of  a  highway  to  the  settlements  at 
Muncy,  Lycoming,  and  beyond,  for  soon  afterwards  we  hear  of  wagons  loaded  with 
emigrants  passing  over  it. 

One  of  the  most  curious  documents  that  survived  the  "  Big  Runaway,"  and  the 
exciting  years  following,  is  the  notes  of  the  surveying  party  which  laid  out  this  pub- 
lic road.  It  was  found  in  the  Wallis  collection  and  the  material  portions  are  con- 
densed and  reproduced  here. 

Courses  of  the  new  road  from  Fort  Augusta  to  Laycauming. 

Beginning  as  follows: 

Course  &  Distauce  of  a  road  viewed  and  laid  out  in  Pursuance  of  an  order  of  Court  for  the 
same.  Begin'g  at  fort  augusta  thence  n.  56  east  to  Sergt  Grants  160  Perches,  thence  to  a  mark 
Hickery  nigh  the  Bank  on  the  north  side  of  the  East  Branch,  thence  N  50  west  90  P  to  the  first 
street  of  Northumberland  along  the  man  street  of  sd  Town  200  Perches,  thence  north  56  west 
200  perches,  and  so  on  by  several  courses  and  distances  726  perches  to  "  John  Alexanders." 
Thence  by  several  courses  and  distances  546  perches  "at  a  fording  of  Chisquaque."  Thence 
306  perches  "to  "William  Plunkets  Esqrs."  Thence  836  perches  "to  John  Doughertys."  Thence 
512  perches  "(Marcus  Hulings)." 

Marcus  Hulings  lived  at  what  is  now  Milton.  After  leaving  his  place  no 
definite  point  is  noted  until  the  "Gap  of  Muncy  Hills"  is  reached.  318 
perches  beyond  the  "gap"  occurs  this  sentence:  "Thence  by  northward 
and  westward  by  a  line  of  marked  trees  to  Laycauming."  But  this  appears  to  have 
been  considered  too  indefinite,  as  it  is  marked  "  Canceled,"  and  the  following  sub- 
stituted, carefully  giving  the  courses  and  distances: 

"  To  the  fording  of  JIuncy  Creek,"  "  to  Wolf  run,"  "  to  Mr.  Wallis's  Run,"  "  to  the  run  above 
Wallises."  "Across  LoyalSock  Creek  thence  N  74  W.  to  the  upper  end  of  Barbers  field  100  P." 
and  finally  "to  Lycauming." 

Signed,  Richakd  JLiXLONE, 

Amaeiah  Sutton, 
AiiEx'n  Stephens, 


Of  the  six  viewers  originally  appointed  by  the  court,  all  signed  the  report  but 
Robb  and  Layton.  This  view  resulted  in  the  first  regularly  authorized  highway 
through  the  valley,  and  the  route  selected  has  undergone  but  few  changes  since  that 

The  second  public  road  of  which  we  have  any  account,  was  from  John  Scudder'  s 
place,  on  the  east  bank  of  the  river,  to  the  crossing  of  Muncy  creek  by  the  Wyalus- 


ing  path.  This  order  was  made  by  the  court  ia  August,  1773,  and  Samuel  Carpen- 
ter, Eobert  Robb,  John  Scudder,  John  Micheltree,  John  Alward,  and  James  Robb 
were  designated  as  viewers.  As  the  distance  was  not  very  great,  it  is  supposed  the 
road  was  promptly  laid  out  and  built. 

At  the  May  term,  1773,  John  Harris,  who  lived  near  the  mouth  of  Loyalsock, 
was  confirmed  as  constable;  Amariah  Sutton  and  John  Alward,  overseers  of  roads; 
Samuel  Wallis  and  Nathaniel  Barber,  overseers  of  the  poor.  Sutton  lived  on 
Lycoming  creek  and  Alward  at  Muncy.  Wallis  lived  on  Muncy  Farm,  and  Barber  on 
the  west  side  of  Loyalsock  creek. 


The  first  grist  mill  west  of  Muncy  Hills  was  erected  on  Muncy  creek  by  John 
Alward  in  1772.  It  stood  on  the  spot  now  occupied  by  the  "old  plaster  mill,"  a 
few  yards  from  the  brick  mill  now  owned  by  the  Jacob  Cooke  heirs.  Henry  Shoe- 
maker, grandfather  of  Charles  Shoemaker,  bought  the  mill  before  the  Indian  troubles 
of  1778-79  began.  When  the  savages  invaded  the  valley  the  mill  gearings  were 
concealed  and  saved,  but  they  destroyed  the  building.  The  mill  stood  outside  the 
present  borough  limits. 

John  Alward  was  from  Berks  county.  An  autograph  letter,  written  in  1784  to 
Samuel  Wallis,  shows  that  he  was  living  in  Windsor  township  at  that  time.  In  1786 
he  was  imprisoned  for  debt  at  the  suit  of  Baltzer  Neyfang  for  £3  lOs.  In  his 
petition  to  the  court  of  Berks  county  for  discharge  upon  the  ground  of  being  an 
insolvent  debtor,  be  shows  that  Samuel  Wallis  owed  him  £1,000.  Others  owed 
him  large  sums  but  he  could  not  collect  them.  Upon  assigning  his  estate  for  the 
benefit  of  his  creditors  he  was  discharged,  March  12,  1788. 

The  mill  was  no  doubt  small  and  rudely  constructed,  but  it  served  the  purpose 
for  which  it  was  erected  and  was  of  great  service  to  the  pioneers.  People  came  to 
it  with  grists  a  long  distance,  and  "going  to  mill"  in  those  days  was  an  event  of 
more  than  ordinary  importance.  Alward,  the  original  builder,  was  a  man  of  consid- 
erable enterprise  and  very  useful  in  the  settlement. 


It  may  be  interesting  to  know  the  names  of  the  original  settlers  of  Muncy  town- 
ship. Several  of  them  were  conspicuous  participants  in  the  stirring  times  of  that 
period,  and  their  names  frequently  occur  in  history,  but  the  majority  at  this  lapse 
of  time  are  unknown.  The  following  list  embraces  the  names  of  all  who  were  bona 
fide  settlers  in  1774,  when  it  was  returned  by  the  assessor  to  the  commissioners  at 

John  Alward,  (servant,  one  negro,)  David  Austin,  John  Archer,  John  Andrews, 
David  Berry,  Daniel  Brown,  David  Benjamin,  Jonathan  Benjamin,  John  Brady, 
Matthew  Blukeny,  (carpenter,)  Benjamin  Burts,  Nathaniel  Barber,  Joseph  Bonser, 
Thomas  Bonner,  John  Coats,  Nicholas  Cline,  Albert  Covenhoven,  Joseph  Craft, 
John  Covenhoven,  Joseph  Carpenter,  John  Carpenter,  Thomas  Collins,  John  Curr, 
Cornelius  Cox,  Margaret  Duncan,  Robert  Guy,  James  Giles,  Henry  Gerner,  William 
Gannon,  Samuel  Gordon,  Charles  Gallipsy,  Samuel  Herod,  Jacob  Hooke,  John 
Hall,  William  Hall,  John  Hall,   Jr.,   Thomas  Hunt,  James  Hampton,  Joseph  Hog- 


land,  Samuel  Harris,  James  Harris,  David  Hamman,  "William  Hamman,  Peter 
Jones,  Benjamin  Jacobs,  Enos  Lundy,  Frederick  Leuf,  Cornelius  Low,  Jr.,  Cor- 
nelius Low,  Sr.,  Thomas  Lemier,  Henry  Marratt,  (two  servants,)  Godlove  Millers, 
Edward  Masters,  John  Morris,  Warrick  Miller,  Convert  Nap,  Hannah  Newman, 
Thomas  Newman,  Jr.,  John  Newman,  Joseph  Newman,  Thomas  Newman,  Sr., 
Thomas  Oliver,  Daniel  Ferine,  Israel  Parshall,  Abraham  Parr,  Alexander  Power, 
James  Parr,  Robert  Peoples,  James  Richardson,  James  Robb,  Robert  Robb,  David 
Robb,  John  Robb,  James  Reader,  Ephraim  Row,  Ralph  Slack,  John  Scudder, 
Paulus  Sheap,  Peter  Smith,  Samuel  Sealy,  Michael  Sealy,  George  Silverthorn,  Oli- 
ver Silverthorn,  Joseph  Sutton,  John  Stryker,  Bernard  Stryker,  Oaky  Stevens,  John 
Sutton,  William  Snodgrass,  Amariah  Sutton,  Turbutt  Francis,  John  Thompson, 
Eaton  Thorp,  William  Thorp,  Jerome  Tanner,  Michael  Tray,  Andrew  Workman, 
David  Workman,  Peter  AYykoff,  Tray  White,  Samuel  W^allis,  James  Wilson,  Daniel 
Williams,  Joshua  White,  Joseph  J.  Wallis,  John  Young. 

None  of  the  names  of  the  settlers  west  of  Lycoming  creek  are  given  in  the  above 
list,  because  they  were  living  in  forbidden  territory  outside  the  limits  of  the  county. 
Many  of  those  mentioned  above  left  descendants  who  still  reside  in  the  county,  and 
there  are  others  who  left  none,  because  they  were  either  killed  or  never  returned 
after  the  flight.  And  all  of  the  above,  with  few  exceptions,  had  improvements  and 
were  possessed  with  more  or  less  stock,  which  indicated  that  they  intended  to 
become  permanent  settlers.  Conspicuous  among  them  were  the  Robb  brothers, 
who,  at  that  early  day,  were  surrounded  with  more  than  the  comforts  usually  found 
in  a  new  settlement.  The  Covenhoven  family,  consisting  of  father  and  two  sons, 
settled  on  Loyalsock,  a  short  distance  above  Montoursville.  They  suffered  much 
at  the  hands  of  the  savages,  but  Robert,  one  of  the  sons,  lived  to  mete  out 
vengeance  to  them  for  what  they  did  to  his  family,  and  he  became  conspicuous  as  a 
guide,  patriot,  and  soldier.  They,  like  many  of  the  other  settlers,  came  from  New 
Jersey.  John  Scudder  enjoyed  the  proud  distinction  of  being  the  father  of  the  first 
girl  baby  born  west  of  the  Muncy  Hills.  Peter  Wychoff,  also  from  New  Jersey,  was 
an  uncle  to  the  Covenhoven  boys.  He  settled  on  Loyalsock,  near  the  present 
borough  of  Montoursville,  and  established  a  tannery  for  the  dressing  of  leather. 
Probably  it  was  the  first  in  the  valley. 


June,  1772,  was  noted  as  the  time  of  the  flight  of  the  Moravians  of  Wyalusing 
through  this  part  of  the  county  on  the  way  to  their  new  place  in  Ohio.  Reference 
has  been  made  in  a  previous  chapter  as  to  how  they  were  deceived  by  the  sale  of  the 
land  on  which  their  town  was  built,  at  the  treaty  of  1768.  Failing  to  receive 
assurance  from  the  Proprietary  government  that  their  land  would  be  held  in  trust 
for  them,  they  decided  to  abaadon  the  place.  One  party  descended  the  North 
Branch  in  canoes  and  then  ascended  the  West  Branch.  The  other  party,  in  charge 
of  Bishop  John  Ettwein,  came  overland  by  way  of  the  Wyalusing  path  down  Muncy 
creek.  The  party  by  the  overland  route  numbered  fifty-four  souls.  The  journey 
was  a  perilous  one.  The  Bishop  in  his  journal  informs  us  that  on  entering  the  great 
swamp  in  what  is  now  Sullivan  county,  ' '  the  undergrowth  was  so  dense  that  often- 
times it  was  impossible  to  see  one  another  at  the  distance  of  six  feet.      The  path. 


too,  was  frequently  invisible,  and  yet  along  it  sixty  head  of  cattle  and  fifty  horses 
and  colts  had  to  be  driven."  And  to  add  to  their  discomfort  it  rained  incessantly 
as  they  were  passing  through  this  wilderness.  The  path  "led  thirty-six  times 
across  Muncy  creek."  The  journey  consumed  five  days  to  reach  the  beautiful  valley 
of  Muncy,  which  was  on  the  15th  of  June.  "Hei-e,"  remarks  the  Bishop,  "the 
hunters  in  two  days  shot  fifteen  deer,  the  meat  of  which  was  dried  at  the  fires  for 
use  on  the  journey." 

On  the  20th  the  party  that  came  by  the  canoes,  nimibering  140  souls,  joined 
them  on  the  river  a  short  distance  above  Samuel  Wallis's  plantation.  While 
tarrying  here  they  held  religious  services  at  Wallis's  house  on  Sunday,  the  21st, 
and  Bishop  Ettwein  preached  "  to  from  fifty  to  sixty  hearers,  all  English,  some  of 
whom  had  come  twenty  miles  distance." 

When  Monday  came  they  "had  a  market  day  in  camp."  Samuel  Wallis  bought 
"fifteen  head  of  their  young  cattle  and  some  canoes."  Other  persons  "  bought 
bowls,  firkins,  buckets,  tubs,  chains,  and  diverse  iron  ware.' '  An  incident  occurred  while 
the  traffic  was  going  on.  The  Bishop  says:  "A  trader's  agent  had  smuggled  some 
rum  into  the  purlieus  of  the  camp.  The  transgression  was  soon  discovered, and  af- 
ter threatening  him  to  his  great  anxiety  we  handed  the  contraband  merchandise 
[rum]  to  Mr.  Wallis  for  safe  keeping,  until  the  trader  should  return  from  the  Great 
Island.  Twenty  hundred-weight  of  flour,  which  I  had  purchased  with  the  money 
presented  to  our  Indians  by  friends  in  Philadelphia,  were  here  distributed."  Ett- 
wein brought  with  him  £100,  the  gift  of  benevolent  friends  in  Philadelphia.  The 
appearance  of  this  great  caravan,  mostly  composed  of  converted  Indians,  was  an 
event  of  more  than  ordinary  consequence  in  the  settlement  and  attracted  much 

They  tarried  here  to  the  24th,  when  they  broke  camp  and  moved  up  the  river. 
The  Bishop  says  they  "  passed  the  Loyalsock  at  the  spot  where  the  sainted  disciple 
[Zinzendorf]  visited  thirty  years  ago,  and  Lycoming  creek,  which  marks  the  boundary 
line  of  lands  purchased  from  the  Indians. ' '  At  both  places  he  found  white  settlers, 
but  he  does  not  mention  their  names.  After  passing  Lycoming  creek  and  "  the  site 
of  the  old  Indian  town,"  their  "cattle  were  driven  to  grass  into  the  woods."  The 
Bishop  undoubtedly  has  reference  to  "  French  Margaret's  Town,"  which  appears  to 
have  been  destroyed  at  that  time.  He  also  speaks  of  the  Indian  town  of  "  Quenisch- 
aschachki,"  which  stood  on,  or  near,  what  is  now  the  site  of  the  village  of  Linden. 
From  his  brief  remarks  concerning  it  we  infer  that  it,  too,  had  been  destroyed.  It 
must  have  been  a  place  of  some  note  in  aboriginal  times,  because  it  was  frequently 
visited  by  the  Moravian  missionaries  prior  to  1754.  Nathaniel  Davis,  a  converted 
Indian,  lived  there  six  years,  and  there  Grube  and  Mack  visited  him  in  1753.  At 
the  time  of  their  sojourn  in  the  town  two  Shawanese  Indians,  who  where  opposed  to 
the  whites,  had  demanded  Grube  of  Davis  that  ttey  might  murder  him,  alleging 
that  he.  was  an  evil  spirit.  Davis  informed  them  that  he  (Grube)  was  his  guest,  he 
had  heard  nothing  evil  from  him,  but  he  was  very  kind  to  his  (Davis's)  children, and 
he  would  protect  him.  This  caused  the  Indians  to  desist  from  their  murderous  in- 
tentions. The  name  of  this  Indian  town  is  perpetuated  by  a  creek  which  falls  into 
the  river  near  where  it  stood. 

Continuing  their  journey,  the  Bishop  notes  in  his  journal   that  they  "encamped 


above  Larry's  creek"  on  the  24th.  Here  Newholecka's  wife  visited 'them.  Her  hus- 
band was  a  Delaware  chief  and  lived  at  the  Great  Island.  She  was  acquainted  with 
some  of  the  Indians  in  the  Bishop' s  party.  Owing  to  the  illness  of  the  chief  he  was 
unable  to  accompany  her. 

On  the  25th  of  June  they  encamped  "opposite  Long  Island."  This  was  prob- 
ably on  the  ground  now  occupied  by  the  borough  of  Jersey  Shore.  The  Bishop 
makes  this  entry  in  his  journal  concerning  the  place:  "Here  rattlesnakes  seemed 
to  hold  undisputed  sway,  and  they  were  killed  at  all  points.  Not  more  than  a  half- 
hour  after  our  arrival  a  horse  was  brought  in  that  had  been  bitten  in  the  nose. 
His  head  swelled  up  frightfully,  and  as  it  rained  the  remedy  failed  to  take  the 
proper  effect  and  the  poor  animal  perished  the  next  day,  as  we  lay  in  camjD  at  the 
lower  end  of  Long  Island  and  halted  there  on  the  26th.  Here  I  assembled  all  the 
men,  told  them  that  we  had  progressed'  but  thirty  miles  during  the  past  week,  and 
that  if  we  failed  to  make  more  rapid  headway  our  company  would  come  to  serious 

The  conditions  of  the  countiy  have  undergone  great  changes  since  this  motley 
caravan  camped  on  the  site  of  the  town  one  hundred  and  twenty  years  ago.  A 
rattlesnake  would  now  be  a  rarity. 

The  Bishop  and  his  party  continued  their  journey  to  Great  Island  and  over  the 
mountains  to  their  new  home  in  Ohio.  While  tarrying  at  the  Great  Island  on  the 
28th  the  Bishop,  by  request,  preached  to  "  the  English  settlers  from  the  Bald  Eagle 
creek,  and  the  south  shore  of  the  West  Branch.'"  He  informs  us  that  "  a  goodly 
audience  assembled,''  and  as  "no  ordained  minister  of  the  Gospel  had  as  yet  settled 
in  the  neighborhood,"  he  was  requested  to  administer  the  rite  of  baptism  to  "the 
new  born  daughter  of  a  Frenchman,  Fourney  by  name,  calling  her  Conigunda,  and 
to  the  son  of  a  Catholic,  Antoine  White,"  whom  he  named  John.  As  Conigunda 
was  probably  born  in  the  latter  part  of  June,  1772,  as  the  Bishop  speaks  of  her  as  a 
"  new  born  daughter,"  her  birth  must  have  occurred  in  the  settlement  near  the 
mouth  of  Bald  Eagle,  and  less  than  a  year  after  the  birth  of  Mary  Scudder  (May  21, 
1771)  at  Muncy,  who  has  always  been  claimed  as  the  first  female  white  child  born 
in  this  valley  west  of  the  Muncy  Hills. 


The  breaking  out  of  the  Eevolution  caused  much  excitement  in  the  country,  but 
it  did  not  stop  the  tide  of  emigration  to  the  West  Branch  valley,  and  the  region 
beyond  the  line  laid  down  by  the  treaty  of  1768.  No  portion  of  the  Province 
seemed  to  fill  up  more  rapidly  than  the  "  New  Purchase."  It  was  an  El  Dorado  to 
those  seeking  homes  and  thither  they  bent  their  footsteps,  prepared  to  brave  all 
dangers.  They  were  patriotic,  however,  and  when  the  government  called  for  aid 
they  were  ready  to  furnish  their  quota. 

With  the  beginning  of  the  war  the  Proprietary  regime  soon  ceased  and  the  State 
government  took  its  place.  The  first  movement  looking  to  its  organization  was  the 
"Meeting  of  the  Provincial  Deputies"  at  Philadeljjhia  on  the  loth  of  June,  1774. 
Notification  of  the  meeting  was  given  in  a  letter  from  the  committee  of  correspond- 
ence, addressed  to  William  Maclay,  William  Plunkett.  and  Samuel  Hunter,  at 
Sunbury,  on  the  28th  of   June,  1774.     They  were  the  highest  oificials  of  the  new 


county,  and  to  them  the  wishes  of  the  committee  were  conveyed.  In  compliance  with 
instructions  the  different  townships  chose  a  Committee  of  Safety  which  met  July  1 1 , 
1774,  and  selected  William  Scull  and  Samuel  Hunter  to  represent  Northumberland 
county.  The  delegates  to  the  Provincial  Convention  of  January  23,  1775,  were 
William  Plunkett  and  Casper  Weitzel,  of  Sunbury;  to  the  Provincial  Conference  of 
June  18,  1776,  William  Cooke,  Alexander  Hunter,  John  Weitzel,  Eobert  Martin, 
and  Matthew  Brown;  and  to  the  Constitutional  Convention  of  July  15,  1776,  Will- 
iam Cooke,  James  Potter,  Robert  Martin,  Matthew  Brown,  Walter  Clark,  John 
Kelly,  James  Crawford,  and  John  Weitzel.  The  latter  were  elected  on  the  8th  of 
July.  At  this  meeting  Thomas  Hewitt,  William  Shaw,  and  Joseph  Green  served  as 
judges.  In  accordance  with  the  ordinance  of  the  Constitutional  Convention,  the  old 
justices  were  superseded  by  new  ones  on  the  3d  of  September  following. 

In  a  patriotic  letter,  dated  April  20,  1775,  and  directed  to  John  Lowdon  and 
Samuel  Maclay,  Charles  Weitzel  announced  the  beginning  of  the  struggle  for  liberty, 
and  called  their  attention  to  the  importance  of  holding  a  meeting  "  in  order  to  form 
some  regular  plan,  in  conjunction  with  our  countrymen,  to  give  every  opposition  to 
impending  tyranny  and  oppression,  either  by  force  or  otherwise."  The  appeal  had 
a  good  effect.  June  15th  Thomas  Willing  announced  by  letter  that  Congress  had 
resolved  that  as  many  of  the  best  marksmen  as  possible  should  be  raised  and  for- 
warded to  Boston.  For  this  purpose  it  was  expected  that  out  of  the  force  required 
Northumberland  and  Bedford  counties  would  raise  one  company.  John  Lowdon 
was  commissioned  captain  and  instructed  to  raise  a  company  of  riflemen.  He  per- 
formed the  duty  assigned  him  with  alacrity.  In  the  list  of  privates  the  following 
names  of  residents  of  what  is  now  Lycoming  county  are  recognized:  Samuel  Brady, 
Robert  Carothers,  Thomas  Kilday,  Edward  McMasters,  Timothy  Murphy,  Peter 
Pence,  John  Robinson,  George  Saltsman,  George  Silverthorn,  Henry  Silverthom, 
John  Shawnee,  (a  Shawanese  Indian,)  John  Smith,  Arad  Sutton,  and  James 

The  company  rendezvoused  at  Sunbury;  marched  thence  to  Reading  and  Easton; 
thence  through  the  northern  part  of  New  Jersey,  crossed  the  Hudson  at  New  Wind- 
sor, not  far '  from  West  Point ;  thence  through  Hartford,  to  Cambridge,  where  it 
arrived  about  the  8th  of  August,  having  started  on  the  8th  of  July.  Of  the  members 
of  the  company  one  writer  informs  us  that  "  thirty  came  from  the  Great  Island. " 
This  evidently  means  from  the  West  Branch  valley,  as  there  were  not  inhabitants 
enough  at  that  time  about  the  island  to  have  contributed  such  a  large  number.  The 
company  on  its  arrival  at  Cambridge  became  part  of  the  battalion  of  riflemen  com- 
manded by  Col.  William  Thompson,  of  Carlisle.  This  battalion  became  the 
Second  Regiment  "  of  the  Army  of  the  United  Colonies,  commanded  by  his  Excel- 
lency, General  George  Washington,"  and,  on  the  1st  of  January,  1776,  the  First 
Regiment  of  the  Continental  Army.  Thatcher  in  his  Military  Journal  thus  describes 
the  company:  "  They  are  remarkably  stout  and  hardy  men,  many  of  them  exceeding 
six  feet  in  height.  They  are  in  rifle  shirts  and  round  hats.  These  men  are 
remarkable  for  the  accuracy  of  their  aim,  striking  a  mark  with  great  certainty  at 
200  yards  distance.  At  a  review  a  company  of  them,  while  on  a  quick  advance,  fired 
their  balls  into  objects  of  seven  inch  diameter,  at  a  distance  of  250  yards.  They  are 
now  stationed  on  our  lines,  and  their  shot  have  frequently  proved  fatal  to  British 


officers  and  soldiers."  In  the  Hand  papers  there  are  many  references  to  this  com- 
pany. Gen.  Edward  Hand  was  then  lieutenant  colonel  and  afterwards  colonel 
of  the  regiment. 

On  the  14th  of  March,  1776,  the  company  left  Cambridge  with  the  battalion 
which  was  detached  by  General  Washington,  with  five  other  regiments  under  Gene- 
ral Sullivan,  to  prevent  a  landing  of  the  British  at  New  York,  when  they  evacuated 
Boston.  They  arrived  at  Hartford  on  the  2 let,  and  at  New  York  on  the  28th.  The 
company  was  stationed  on  Long  Island  during  May  and  until  June  30th,  when  it 
was  mustered  out  of  service  on  the  1st  of  July,  1776. 

The  company,  however,  re-enlisted  almost  to  a  man  for  the  term  of  two  years, 
but  in  October  the  limit  was  extended  to  the  close  of  the  war.  Captain  Lowdon, 
who  became  a  member  of  the  Supreme  Executive  Council,  was  succeeded  as  captain 
by  James'Parr.  Thirty-two  of  his  company  were  enlisted  out  of  the  old  battalion 
and  fourteen  from  the  flying-camp. 

The  company  was  in  the  battle  of  Long  Island.  Col.  James  Chambers,  who 
succeeded  General  Hand  in  command  of  the  First  Regiment,  wrote  as  follows  from 
"Mount  Prospect  Camp,"  June  18,  1777:  "We  have  a  partisan  regiment — Colo- 
nel Morgan  commands — chosen  marksmen  from  the  whole  army  compose  it.  Captain 
Parr,  Lieutenants  Lyon  and  Brady,  and  fifty  men  from  my  regiment  are  among  the 

Morgan's  famous  riflemen  included  many  men  from  Northumberland  county, 
drawn  from  the  companies  of  Captain  Parr,  of  the  First  Pennsylvania,  and  Captain 
Boone,  of  the  Twelfth.  They  joined  the  northern  army  in  August,  1777,  and  took 
part  in  the  battles  of  Saratoga,  September  19th  and  October  7th.  For  accuracy  of 
aim  some  of  these  riflemen  were  remarkable.  Timothy  Murphy,  who  came  from  the 
town  of  Northumberland,  achieved  great  distinction  in  that  battle.  William  L. 
Stone  in  his  "Campaign  of  General  Burgoyne,"  page  61,  says:  " Brigadier  General 
Frazer,  who  had  been  stationed  on  the  right,  noticed  the  critical  situation  of  the 
center,  and  hurried  to  its  succor  with  the  Twenty-fourth  Eegiment.  Conspicu- 
ously mounted  on  an  iron  grey  horse,  he  was  all  activity  and  vigilance,  riding  from 
one  part  of  the  division  to  another,  and  animating  the  troops  by  his  example.  Per- 
ceiving that  the  fate  of  the  day  rested  on  thatofiicer,  Morgan,  who,  with  his  riflemen, 
was  immediately  opposed  to  Frazer' s  corps,  took  a  few  of  his  sharpshooters  aside, 
among  whom  was  the  celebrated  marksman,  Tim  Murphy,  men  on  whose  precision 
of  aim  he  could  rely,  and  said  to  them :  '  That  gallant  officer  yonder  is  General 
Frazer;  I  admire  and  respect  him,  but  it  is  necessary  for  our  good  that  he  should 
die.     Take  your  station  in  that  cluster  of  bushes  and  do  your  duty." 

"  Within  a  few  moments,  a  rifle  ball  cut  the  crouper  of  Frazer' s  horse,  and  another 
passed  through  his  horse's  mane.  Calling  his  attention  to  this  Frazer' s  aide  said:  '  It 
is  evident  that  you  are  marked  out  for  particular  aim;  would  it  not  be  prudent  for 
you  to  retire  from  this  place  ? '  Frazer  replied,  '  My  duty  forbids  me  to  fly  from 
danger.'  The  next  moment  he  fell,  mortally  wounded  by  a  ball  from  the  rifle  of 
Murphy,  and  was  carried  off  the  field  by  two  grenadiers. "  "  The  distance  between 
Frazer  and  Murphy,' '  adds  Stone  in  a  footnote,  "  when  the  latter  fired,  was  about 
one  quarter  of  a  mile.  In  those  days  this  was  considered  a  great  shot."  There  has 
been  some  dispute  as  to  the  killing  of  Frazer  by  Murphy,  General  Mattoon,  who  was 


a  lieutenant  in  the  battle,  taking  the  position  that  he  was  killed  by  an  "  elderly  man 
with  a  long  hunting  gun."  See  his  letter  in  Stone's  Burgoyne,  page  373.  Subse- 
quent investigation,  however,  has  pretty  clearly  established  the  fact  that  Frazer  was 
killed  by  Murphy. 

It  is  not  pertinent  to  our  work  to  give  the  names  of  all  the  officers  of  the  com- 
panies of  "Associators  and  Militia"  for  Northumberland  county;  therefore  only 
such  as  relate  to  this  territory  are  noted.  The  county  lieutenants,  however,  were: 
Samuel  Hunter,  William  Wilson,  and  Bernard  Hubley,  Jr.  The  First  Battalion  was 
commanded  by  Samuel  Hunter,  with  the  rank  of  colonel;  the  second  by  Col. 
James  Potter. 

The  Fifth  Company  of  the  Second  Battalion  was  officered  as  follows :  Captain, 
Cookson  Long,  January  24,  1776 ;  first  lieutenant,  William  McElhatton,  January  24, 
1776;  second  lieutenant,  Eobert  Fleming,  January  24,  1776;  Ensign,  Eobert  Flem- 
ing, Jr.,  January  24,  1776. 

Sixth  Company. — Captain,  Samuel  Wallis,  January  24, 1776;  first  lieutenant,  John 
Scudder;  second  lieutenant,  Peter  Jones,  January  24,  1776;  ensign,  James  Hamp- 
ton, January  24, 1776. 

Eighth  Company. — Captain,  Henry  Antes;  first  lieutenant,  Thomas  Brandon; 
second  lieutenant,  Alexander  Hamilton;  ensign,  Simon  Cole.  All  were  appointed, 
January  24,  1776.  Under  date  of  March  13,  1776,  these  same  company  organizations 
were  continued  with  the  same  officers.  In  October  the  organizations  were  still  in 
force  with  but  few  changes  in  officers. 

Each  captain  was  ordered  by  the  Committee  to  return  at  least  forty  privates,  and 
each  battalion  consisted  of  six  companies.  They  were  held  in  readiness  to  move  on 
short  notice. 


The  spirit  of  patriotism  ran  high  among  the  majority  of  the  settlers  on  the  West 
Branch  at  this  time,  and  when  it  was  rumored  that  the  Continental  Congress  contem- 
plated declaring  the  colonies  independent  the  leading  Fair  Play  men,  living  on  the 
forbidden  territory  west  of  Lycoming  creek,  were  greatly  elated.  As  they  lived  on 
Indian  lands,  outside  of  the  jurisdiction  of  all  provincial  law,  they  at  once  set  about 
making  preparations  to  indorse  the  proposed  action  of  Congress  by  an  emphatic 
expression  of  their  sentiments.  Accordingly,  on  the  4th  of  July,  1776,  they  met  in 
mass  meeting  on  the  plain  a  short  distance  west  of  Pine  creek.  From  the  meager 
accounts  that  have  been  h&,nded  down,  the  meeting  was  organized,  when  its  object 
was  stated  by  one  of  the  leading  men.  The  proposition  was  warmly  discussed  and 
a  number  of  patriotic  speeches  made,  when  it  was  decided  to  indorse  the  proposi- 
tion under  discussion  in  Congress  by  a  formal  declaration  of  independence!  A 
series  of  resolutions  was  drawn  up  and  passed,  absolving  themselves  from  all  alle- 
giance to  Great  Britain,  and  henceforth  declaring  themselves  free  and  independent! 

The  result  of  this  meeting  was  the  most  remarkable  coincident  of  the  Eevolu- 
tionary  struggle.  The  declaration  was  proclaimed  about  the  same  time  the  Declar- 
ation was  signed  in  Philadelphia.  It  was  remarkable  that  the  Continental  Congress 
and  the  Squatter  Sovereigns  on  the  West  Branch,  separated  by  more  than  200 
miles,  and  without  any  knowledge  of  what  each  other  was  doing,  should  declare  for 


freedom  and  independence  about  the  same  time.      The  coincidence  stands  without  a 
parallel  in  the  annals  of  history! 

It  is  regretted  that  the  names  of  the  officers  of  this  meeting,  and  the  record  of 
the  proceedings,  have  been  lost.  The  names  of  the  following  who  were  present 
and  participated  have  been  preserved:  Thomas,  Francis,  and  John  Clark,  Alexander 
Donaldson,  John  Jackson,  Adam  Carson,  Henry  McCracken,  Adam  De  Witt,  Eobert 
Love,  and  Hugh  Nichols.  Among  the  names  will  be  recognized  several  whose 
descendants  still  live  in  that  part  of  Clinton  county.  Their  ancestors,  notably 
Hamilton,  Love,  and  Clark,  were  men  distinguished  for  their  ability  and  representa- 
tive character,  and  did  much  in  their  day  to  give  tone  and  stability  to  the  new  settle- 


During  the  summer  of  this  momentous  year  the  Rev.  Philip  Vicars  Fithian  made 
his  horseback  journey  through  this  valley,  and  left  a  charming  account  of  it  in  his 
journal.  He  was  licensed  to  preach  by  the  First  Presbytery  of  Philadelphia, 
November  6,  1774.  On  the  4th  of  April,  1775,  he  received  an  honorable  dismission 
from  the  presbytery,  as  there  were  no  vacancies  within  its  boundaries,  and  he  soon 
afterwards  started  on  a  horseback  journey  through  Delaware,  Maryland,  Pennsyl- 
vania, and  Virginia,  preaching  by  the  way  and  conferring  with  the  people  as  an 
evangelist.  Monday,  July  24th,  he  passed  over  "  Muncy  Hills  and  Muncy's  beau- 
tiful creek  to  Mr.  Crownover's  on  the  bank  of  the  river."  The  residence  of  Crown- 
over  was  really  on  Loyalsock  creek.  Here  he  remained  over  night  and  made  an 
entry  in  his  journal  as  follows: 

This  gentleman  came  from  Stonybrook,  near  Princeton,  in  New  Jersey,  and  is  intimately 
acquainted  witti  many  there.  He  has  here  a  large  and  most  excellent  farm,  is  yet  busy  with 
his  harvest,  seems  to  be  a  moderate,  pleasant  person,  and  which  I  shall  always  after  this  voy- 
age admire;  he  has  a  clever,  neat  woman  for  his  wife.  Opposite  to  this  farm  is  a  very  high 
hill  on  the  other  side  of  the  river  under  which  the  river  runs  without  any  level  country. 

Bald  Eagle  mountain  is  the  ' '  hill ' '  he  has  reference  to.  The  following  morn- 
ing, Tuesday,  July  25th,  he  entered  in  his  journal: 

I  slept  soundly  and  fine  without  being  disturbed  by  either  a  bug  or  a  flea.  And  the  house 
is  as  poor  and  as  much  surrounded  with  woods  and  brush  as  other  houses,  where,  through  entire 
carelessness,  I  am  surrounded  by  numberless  numbers  of  these  insects.  A  very  foggy  morning  ; 
I  drenched  myself  with  a  most  stinging  bitter,  and  left  Mr.  Crownover's  by  eight ;  expenses, 

I  rode  up  the  river,  course  west  and  to  the  southward  of  west,  over  several  fine  creeks  and 
rich  lands  to  Lycoming  creek,  all  the  way  a  good  wagon-beaten  road.  Here  the  Pennsyl- 
vania "  New  Purchase  "  ends  and  the  "  Indian  land  "  begins.  On  I  rode,  however,  on  a  worn 
path,  over  the  enemy's  country,  with  much  reverence  and  am  now  at  one  Ferguson's,  on  the 
very  bank  of  the  river,  and  scribbling  this  while  my  horse,  who  is  now  my  only  agreeable  com- 
panion, eats  a  sheaf  of  oats. 

Since  I  left  Muncy  there  is  on  the  other  side  of  the  river,  and  to  the  very  edge,  a  high  ridge 
of  hills,  which  makes  that  side  uninhabitable.  I  rode  on  to  Pine  creek,  on  both  sides  of  which 
is  a  large,  long  clearing,  said  to  be  anciently  Indian  towns,  clear,  l^vel,  and  unbroken,  without 
even  a  stump  or  hillock — only  high,  thick  grass.  On  this  common  I  saw  many  cattle  and  droves 
of  horses,  all  very  fat,  wantonly  grazing.  In  passing  over  this  creek  I  met  an  Indian  trader  with 
his  retinue.  Himself  first  on  horseback,  armed  with  a  bright  rifle  and  apparatus,  then  a  horse 
with  packs,  last  his  men  with  baggage.    Meeting  these  in  the  dark  part  of  a  lonely  road  startled 


me  at  first.  On  I  rode  over  a  part  of  the  river  on  to  the  Great  Island,  and  thence  over  the  other 
branch  to  Esquire  Fleming's.  He  was  out,  but  his  daughter,  Miss  Betsy,  was  at  home.  She 
was  milking.    She  is  chatable,  and  I  was  soon  entered  upon  useful  business. 

The  compliment  he  pays  Mrs.  Crownover  for  her  excellence  as  a  housekeeper 
can  not  fail  to  be  very  gratifying  to  her  great-granddaughters  of  to-day,  one  of  whom 
at  least  lives  on  the  very  spot  where  her  house  stood  at  the  time  of  Fithian's  visit, 
and  they  are  noted  for  their  neatness  and  cleanliness  as  housekeepers. 

He  speaks  of  there  being  a  "good  wagon"  road  from  Loyalsock  to  Lycoming 
creek.  As  this  was  117  years  ago,  and  only  a  few  years  after  the  first  road  view  had 
been  ordered  by  the  court,  it  shows  that  the  ' '  road  masters ' '  had  either  succeeded 
well  in  having  a  highway  constructed,  or  the  reverend  traveler  had  a  poor  conception 
of  what  constituted  a  good  road.  There  were  swamps  at  that  time  east  of  Williams- 
port  which  were  regarded  by  travelers  a  few  years  later  as  almost  impassable. 

The  Ferguson  Mr.  Fithian  speaks  of  resided  a  short  distance  above  the  present 
borough  of  Jersey  Shore.  He  was  an  early  settler  on  the  Indian  lands  and  an 
original  Fair  Play  man.  Some  of  his  descendants  are  still  living  in  that  part  of  the 
county.  There  were  very  few  settlers  between  Loyalstock  and  Pine  creek  at  that 

When  the  first  white  men  came  they  found  the  "clearings,"  or  "barrens,"  as 
they  were  called,  on  both  sides  of  Pine  creek.  But  the  most  extensive  ' '  clearings  ' ' 
were  above  the  creek.  The  lack  of  timber  on  these  grounds  led  many  to  believe  that 
the  land  was  poor,  and  it  is  on  record  that  several  parties,  after  living  there  a  short 
time,  abandoned  their  claims  and  sought  other  places  in  the  hills.  It  was  on  this 
opening  that  the  famous  meeting  was  held  two  weeks  before  he  passed  through,  that 
declared  for  independence. 

Mr.  Fithian  spent  several  days  very  pleasantly  at  the  house  of  "Esquire 
Fleming"  and  enjoyed  himself  greatly,  if  we  may  judge  from  what  he  entered  in  his 
journal.  He  then  passed  up  the  Bald  Eagle  valley  and  over  the  mountains  to  the 
Juniata  and  on  to  his  home  in  New  Jersey. 


CHAPTER  VI.     . 


Capt.  Joirs'  Beadt  AMO^-&  Them — His  Stockade  Fort — The  McKctsey  axd  Scudder 
Fajiilies — First  White  Chiuj  Boex  There — Committee  of  Safety  axd  Its  Troubles 
— The  Robb  Case  axd  How  It  Exded — BEGiNTvrs-G  of  Trouble — Seizure  op  Salt — 
The  Stillixg  of  Whiskey — Roll  op  Cooksox  Loss's  Compaxy  of  MrLiriA — The  Browx- 
Bex.tamix  Tragedy — Trouble  About  the  Electiox  of  Magistrates — A  Petition  to 

AS  the  EeTolutioH  was  now  in  progress,  and  the  future  outlook  not  encouraging 
to  the  Proprietary  interests,  John  Perm,  who  was  then  acting  Governor  of 
the  Province,  gave  orders  on  the  15th  of  May,  1776,  to  have  Muncy  manor  divided 
into  farm  tracts  and  sold.  A  number  of  parties  had  squatted  on  this  fine  body  of 
land  and  made  improvements,  with  the  object  of  ultimately  becoming  possessed  of 
them  by  priority  of  right  when  they  would  come  into  market.  Among  them  was 
Capt.  John  Brady.  He  built  a  log  house,  which  was  stockaded,  and  afterwards 
known  as  "Brady's  Fort." 

The  survey  was  made  in  accordance  with  the  order  of  Penn.  A  copy  of  the 
report  is  given  herewith,  showing  the  size  of  each  tract  into  which  the  manor  was 
divided,  and  the  names  of  the  parties  who  occupied  them  : 

Xo.  1.— Containing  300  acres  and  139  perches  and  an  allowance  of  six  per  cent.,  etc.  Settled 
on  and  improved  by  Mordecai  McKinney. 

Xo.  2. — Containing  29Q3>^  acres  and  allowance,  etc.  Settled  on  and  improved  by  Peter  Smith, 
and  Paulus  Sheep. 

Xo.  3. — Containing  300  acres  and  76  perches  and  allowance  as  aforesaid.  Settled  on  and 
improved  by  John  Brady. 

No.  4. — Containing  300  acres  and  61  perches  and  allowance,  etc.  Settled  on  and  improved 
by  Caleb  Knapp. 

No.  5. — Containing  301  acres  and  105  perches  and  allowance,  etc.  Settled  on  and  improved 
by  John  Scudder,  who  is  displeased  with  the  manner  in  which  it  is  laid  out,  alleging  there 
is  not  timber  sufficient  on  it  for  fencing;  etc.,  and  desires  his  lot  may  be  laid  out  agreeably 
to  the  red  lines,  (which  contains  254  acres  and  74  perches  and  allowance,  etc.)  which  would 
greatly  lessen  the  value  of  the  lot  Brady  possesses.  The  S.  thirty  degrees  E.  line  runs 
through  Brady's  improvement,  and  takes  near  all  the  rail  timber  from  Brady's  lot,  that  is  on 
the  south  side  of  the  Glade  run,  so  that  upon  the  whole  we  judge  it  most  convenient,  and 
to  the  general  advantage  of  the  plantations,  that  the  black  line  should  remain  as  the  boundary 
between  Brady  and  Scudder.  We  have  therefore  laid  down  Scudder's  complaint  that  it  may  be 
judged  of  by  his  Honor  the  Governor. 

It  is  by  no  means  convenient  that  any  of  the  plantations  should  cross  the  creek,  as  the 
banks  on  the  north  side  are  high,  and  the  creek  in  time  of  freshets  flows  so  very  considerable 
that  it  is  thereby  rendered  impassable  for  several  days.  It  is  settled  on  and  improved  by 
Jerome  Vanest  and  John  Young,  as  described  in  the  draft,  etc., — in  Young's  improvement  thirty 
acres,  and  in  Vanest's  sixty-seven  acres.  Signed, 

Jo.  J.  Wallis, 
Jno.  Hesdebsojt. 
To  John  Lukens,  Esqr.,  Surveyor  General. 


John  Penn  continued  to  act  as  Governor  until  September  28,  1776,  when  the  new 
Constitution  took  effect  and  the  Penn  regime  in  Pennsylvania  ended.  This  was 
two  months  and  twenty-four  days  after  the  Declaration  of  Independence.  The 
surveys  made  under  his  warrants  were  afterwards  legalized  by  act  of  Assembly  and 
all  trouble  as  to  titles  removed. 

THE    m'kINNEY    family. 

Mordecai  McKinney,  who  appears  as  the  occupant  of  tract  No.  1,  came  from 
Middlesex  county,  New  Jersey,  in  the  spring  of  1775.  He  served  as  a  member  of 
the  Committee  of  Safety  for  six  months  from  August  13,  1776.  In  1778  he  was 
appointed  a  justice  of  the  peace  for  Northumberland  county.  At  the  time  of  the 
Indian  invasion  he  fled  with  his  family  to  Harris's  Ferry  and  never  returned.  His 
improvements  were  destroyed.  He  had  three  sons  and  three  daughters  :  John,  who 
became  a  major  in  the  Continental  Army,  and  was  living  at  Alexandria,  Vinginia,  in 
1803  ;  Mordecai,  Jr.,  who  settled  at  Middletown  (he  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits 
and  afterwards  carried  on  business  at  Columbia  and  Newport.  Judge  McKinney,  of 
Harrisburg,  author  of  McKinney' s  Digest,  was  his  son);  Jacob,  the  third  son,  who 
settled  near  Ovid,  in  the  State  of  New  York.  Mordecai  McKinney,  Sr.,  had 
brothers,  and  quite  an  extensive  relationship  among  the  early  settlers  in  this  valley. 
One  of  the  wives  of  Rev.  Asa  Dunham  was  a  niece.  John  Buckalow  married  a 
daughter  of  Mr.  McKinney,  October  21,  1773,  and  removed  with  him  to  the  vicinity 
of  Muncy.  He  served  as  a'member  of  the  Committee  of  Safety  six  months  from 
February  8,  1776.  John  Buckalow  leased  a  grist  and  saw  mill  from  John  Hinds,  of 
Muncy  township,  for  four  years,  and  carried  them  on  until  compelled  to  stop  by  the 
Indians.  He  fled  with  his  father-in-law  to  Harris's  Ferry  and  never  retttrned. 
Catharine,  a  daughter,  married  Cornelius  Low.  They  afterwards  settled  in  the 
State  of  New  York.  Nancy,  the  third  daughter,  married  Nicholas  Elder  and  they 
lived  at  Middletown,  Pennsylvania. 

No.  3,  which  is  within  the  present  borough  of  Muncy,  is  the  tract  on  which  Capt. 
John  Brady  settled  and  built  his  log  fort.  His  family  were  occupying  it  at  the 
time  he  was  killed,  and  thither  his  body  was  carried.  Where  the  "fort"  stood  is 
now  a  cultivated  field  and  it  is  owned  by  Mrs.  Dr.  William  Hayes.  A  slight  rise 
in  the  ground  is  pointed  out  as  the  place  where  the  fort  stood. 

BIRTH    or    THE    FIEST   .CHILD. 

John  Scudder,  who  appears  on  the  draft  as  the  occupant  of  tract  No.  5,  came 
from  New  Jersey,  where  he  was  born,  January  29,  1738.  He  was  one  of  the  first 
to  find  his  way  to  Muncy  manor  and  settle.  January  24,  1776,  he  was  appointed 
a  lieutenant  in  the  Sixth  Company  of  the  Second  Battalion  of  Associated  Militia, 
commanded  by  Samuel  Wallis;  on  the  13th  of  March  following  he  was  transferred 
to  the  Second  Company  of  the  same  battalion  with  the  same  rank,  commanded  by 
Wallis,  who  appears  to  have  been  transferred  also.  Scudder' s  wife  was  named 
Susan,  and  was  born  in  New  Jersey,  June  2,  1746.  They  were  probably  married  in 
1765.  Three  children  were  the  fruits  of  their  union.  William,  the  eldest,  was  born 
in  New  Jersey,  April  4,  1766,  and  died  at  Muncy,  April  19,  1825.  John  Scudder, 
accompanied  by  Eichard  Stockton,  came  to  Muncy  manor  in  1769,  on  a  prospecting 


tour.  Some  time  in  1770  Scudder  moved  his  family  from  New  Jersey,  as  Mary,  their 
second  child,  and  the  first  female  child  born  west  of  Muncy  Hills,  came  into  the 
world  May  21,  1771.  When  she  grew  up  she  married  Benjamin  Shoemaker,  became 
the  mother  of  nine  children,  and  died  at  the  place  of  her  birth,  April  14,  1850.  Her 
children  were  named:  John;  Henry;  Susannah;  Sarah;  William;  Hannah;  Benja- 
min; Mercy,  and  Mary.  Hannah,  the  youngest  child,  born  February  1,  1776, 
married  a  man  named  Bell,  but  the  date  of  her  death  is  unknown. 

John  Scudder  served  in  the  Kevolutionary  army.  He  died  at  Muncy,  February 
12,  1786.  When  he  settled  on  the  manor  he  erected  a  log  cabin.  It  stood  on  the 
high  bank  or  terrace  of  Glade  run,  between  the  canal  and  railroad,  a  short 
distance  from  the  river.  The  exact  spot  is  pointed  out  near  the  rear  of  the  large 
barn  on  the  Walton  estate,  but  no  trace  of  the  cabin  is  visible.  Several  aged  apple 
trees  near  by  indicate  an  early  settlement.  There  was  no  wooden  floor  in  the  cabin, 
and  it  was  without  windows.  The  bed  was  supported  by  four  stout  posts,  each 
with  a  fork,  well  elevated  above  the  earthen  floor  to  protect  the  sleepers  from  rattle- 
snakes and  copperheads,  which  were  very  numerous.  The  Scudders  were  well-to- 
do  people  for  the  time,  and  as  Mrs.  Scudder  was  the  first  white  woman  to  locate  in 
the  settlement,  her  advent  was  an  event  of  more  than  ordinary  importance. 

On  the  breaking  out  of  Indian  hostilities  John  Scudder  fled  with  his  little 
family  to  New  Jersey,  as  many  of  the  settlers  from  that  State  did.  When  peace 
was  restored  they  returned  and  occupied  their  improvement.  Scudder  and  his 
family  saw  much  of  the  hardships  of  pioneer  life  and  tasted  of  the  bitter  cup. 


As  the  Revolution  progressed  the  times  became  more  critical  in  the  valley. 
English  agents  were  at  work  to  cause  disaffection  among  the  Indians  and  turn  them 
against  the  settlers  on  the  frontier.  The  Committee  of  Safety,  therefore,  had  to  be 
extremely  vigilant.  Complaint  being  made  that  the  battalion  of  the  upper  division 
of  the  county  had  not  yet  met  to  hold  an  election  for  field  officers,  a  resolution  was 
introduced  and  passed  reconimending  to  the  officers  that  three  committeemen  from 
each  township  meet  at  the  house  of  John  Scudder,  February  24th,  elect  officers, 
and  return  them  on  the  26th,  so  that  they  might  be  recommended  to  the  Committee 
of  Safety.  It  does  not  appear  whether  the  terms  of  the  resolution  were  carried  into 
effect  or  not.  At  the  meeting  held  on  the  26th  progress  in  officering  and  forming 
companies  was  reported,  when  the  Committee  adjourned  to  meet  March  13th.  At 
this  meeting  the  following  officers  for  the  Third  Battalion  were  reported:  Colonel, 
William  Plunkett;  lieutenant  colonel,  James  Murray;  majors,  John  Brady  and 
Cookson  Long.  Seven  companies  were  organized.  Henry  Antes  was  captain  of  the 
First,  with  Thomas  Brandon  and  Alexander  Hamilton  as  first  and  second  lieutenants, 
respectively.  Samuel  WaUis  was  captain  of  the  Second  company,  with  John  Scud- 
der and  Peter  Jones  as  first  and  second  lieutenants.  John  Eobb  was  captain  of  the 
Third  company,  and  William  Watson  and  Eobert  Nelson,  first  and  second  lieu- 


At  this  meeting  Chairman  Hambright  was  instructed  to  inform  the  Committee  of 

98  HISTOEY    OF    LYCOillSG    COUXTY. 

Safety  that  applications  are  frequently  made  to  them  by  parties  for  recommendations 
as  officers  to  go  into  immediate  service,  and  that  the  Committee  is  at  a  loss  what  to 
do.  If,  however,  men  are  to  be  taken  out  of  the  county  for  Continental  service  the 
Committee  preferred  that  officers  should  go  with  them.  If  more  men  would  be 
required  the  Committee  begged  to  suggest,  inasmuch  as  Northumberland  was  a 
frontier  county,  that  two  or  three  companies  be  raised,  officered,  disciplined,  and  put 
under  pay.  and  held  in  readiness  to  go  upon  any  service  that  might  be  required  of 
them.  The  Committee  had  information  that  Hawkins  Boone  had  enlisted  several 
men,  and  that  he  declared  he  had  authority  and  money  for  that  purpose  from  Con- 
gress, and  that  he  was  "to  be  a  ffuard  to  the  Congress."  In  thiswavhe  had  "drawn 
off  some  men  from  the  different  companies  of  military  associators. "  This  the 
Committee  did  not  like,  and  Chairman  Hambright  stated  that  they  had  cited  him  to 
appear  before  them  and  show  by  what  authority  he  was  so  acting.  It  appears, 
however,  that  Captain  Boone  treated  the  Committee  with  contempt  by  refusing  to 
appear.  The  Committee  thought  that  when  men  were  enlisted  in  the  county  they 
had  a  right  to  know  for  what  service  they  were  intended. 

The  friction  between  the  authorities  and  the  Committee  seemed  to  increase, 
which  was  largely  caused  by  the  demoralization  of  the  times  and  the  excitement 
consequent  upon  the  war.  At  a  meeting  held  March  25,  1776.  it  was  reported  ''that 
several  recruiting  officers  belonging  to  battalions  of  different  counties  in  this 
Province"  had  lately  come  to  this  "'infant  frontier  county  and  drained  it  of  a 
number  of  useful  men,  to  the  prejudice  of  the  same."  A  resolution  was  passed  to 
the  effect  ''  that  for  the  future  no  officer  or  non-commissioned  officer  be  allowed  to 
recruit  men  in  this  county,  except  the  officers  who  are  or  may  be  appointed  therein." 

Chairman  Hambright  wrote  to  the  Committee  of  Safety  informing  them  of  the 
condition  of  affairs  and  recommendinaf  that  the  officers  of  the  new  battalion,  of 
which  William  Plunkett  had  been  chosen  colonel,  be  commissioned.  In  behalf  of 
his  committee  he  then  entered  a  remonstrance  against  the  way  the  people  of  the 
county  were  being  treated  by  the  Committee  of  Safety,  in  allowing  recruiting  officers 
to  come  here  and  enlist  men.  He  considered  such  action  a  grievance  that  should  be 

At  a  meeting  of  the  Committee  held  on  the  13th  of  August,  1776,  new  officers 
■were  reported  to  have  been  chosen  in  the  respective  townships  to  serve  on  the  Com- 
mittee of  Safety  for  sis  months  from  that  date.  Muncy  township  reported  the 
following:  Mordecai  McKinney,  James  Giles,  and  Andrew  Culbertson. 


The  Committee  met  monthly,  unless  called  together  earlier  by  some  extraordinary 
business.  The  next  meeting  was  held  September  lOth.  Complaint  was  made 
against  Aaron  Levy  and  John  Bullion  that  they  had  a  quantity  of  salt  on  hand 
which  they  refused  to  sell  for  cash,  according  to  a  former  resolution  of  the  Com- 
mittee. A  resolution  was  passed  that  the  salt  be  seized  and  placed  in  the  hands  of 
William  Sayers  to  be  sold  at  the  rate  of  fifteen  shillings  per  bushel,  but  no  single 
family  was  to  be  allowed  more  than  half  a  bushel  at  one  time.  Sayers  was  instmcteded 
to  keep  a  particular  account  of  every  bushel  sold,  and  when  it  was  all  sold  he  was  to 
return  the  money  to  the  Committee,  after  deducting  one  shilling  per  pound  for  his 
trouble  for  selling  it,  ''  and  sis  shillings  and  four  pence  for  porterage." 


Levy  and  Bullion  were  disposed  to  hold  their  salt  for  a  high  price.  They  were 
traders.  The  peremptory  seizure  of  the  salt  was  the  first  act  of  confiscation  in  this 
valley  of  which  we  have  any  account. 

Two  disaffected  persons,  named  William  Chattim  and  James  Parker,  were 
reported  to  the  Committee  as  ' '  not  behaving  themselves  as  friends  to  our  country  in 
general,  and  had  armed  themselves  with  two  pistols."  They  were  brought  before 
the  Committee,  when  they  confessed  that  they  were  "  two  of  his  Majesty's  soldiers," 
and  were  prisoners.  The  Committee  ordered  them  to  be  sent  to  Lancaster,  where  a 
number  of  English  prisoners  were  already  held,  and  their  arms  (the  two  pistols) 
were  ordered  to  be  sold  at  public  sale  and  the  money  arising  therefrom  to  be  applied 
to  the  expense  of  sending  them  away. 

The  Committee  was  in  session  again  on  the  12th  of  September,  and  it  was 
reported  to  them  that  "  the  two  different  quantities  of  ammunition  heretofore 
forwarded  to  the  care  of  the  Committee,"  was  found  to  afford  a  quota  of  only  half  a 
pound  of  powder  and  one  pound  of  lead  to  each  asaociator!  This  was  a  very 
limited  supply  to  fight  Indians  and  guard  the  frontier. 

The  Committee  being  informed  that  there  was  "  a  dividend  of  salt  in  Philadel- 
phia," which  was  "  allotted  for  this  country  by  a  late  resolve  of  Convention,"  it 
was  decided  to  appoint  William  Maclay  and  Mordecai  McKinney  to  proceed  to  Phil- 
adelphia, take  charge  of  the  salt,  and  have  it  forwarded  here  and  placed  in  their 
charge  for  distribution  among  the  people.  Instructions  were  also  issued  that  it 
should  not  be  sold  at  a  higher  rate  than  fifteen  shillings  per  bushel. 

On  the  23d  of  November,  1776,  Robert  Fruit,  chairman  of  the  Committee, 
acknowledged  that  he  had  received  ''seventy-seven  bushels  of  salt"  from  the  Com- 
mittee of  Safety  in  Philadelphia,  which  he  had  delivered  to  Marcus  Hulings  to  be 
forwarded  here.  The  bill  showed  that  it  had  cost  at  15s  per  bushel,  £57  15s;  cost 
of  casks  and  packing,  £3;  porterage  and  cooperage,  ISs;  transportation  from 
Philadelphia  to  Middletowo,  £13  9s  6d;  storage  at  Middletown,  8s  6d;  carriage 
from  Middletown  to  Northumberland,  £11  lis — total,  £87  2s.  The  transportation 
from  Middletown  was  by  batteaux  up  the  river.  Compared  with  the  price  of  salt 
to-day  it  will  be  seen  that  it  was  an  expensive  luxury  at  that  time. 

At  this  meeting  the  Committee  instructed  Robert  Fruit  their  chairman,  to  memo- 
rialize the  Committee  of  Safety  in  Philadelphia  by  letter,  setting  forth  the  condition 
of  affairs  on  the  West  Branch.  He  at  once  informed  the  Committee  that  the 
exposed  condition  of  the  northwestern  frontier  had  caused  his  Committee  to  be  vigi- 
lant. Every  movement  of  the  Indians  was  carefully  watched,  and  there  was  no 
longer  any  doubt  but  their  sympathies  were  with  the  enemy.  Those  Indians  who 
were  lately  friendly  to  the  settlers  had  withdrawn  from  among  them,  and  they  were 
fearful  they  would  next  appear  as  enemies. 

Such  being  the  outlook,  he  thought  some  men  should  be  raised  for  the  defence  of 
the  frontier  to  keep  up  the  spirits  of  the  people.  They  were  much  dispirited 
because  they  had  not  been  surported.  "  We  are  not  now  able,"  he  continues,  "  to 
keep  the  single  and  disengaged  men  in  the  county;  they  consider  fighting  as  inev- 
itable, and  choose  rather,  under  pay,  to  have  to  do  with  a  humane  enemy,  than  at 
their  own  expense  to  encounter  merciless  savages.  The  county  by  this  means  loses 
not  only  the  most  useful  of  our  men,  but  the  best  of  our  arms  are  carried  out  of  the 


county,  so  that  upon  a  late  review  a  general  repair  of  the  remaining  arms  was  found 


As  the  feeling  of  uncertainty  increased,  and  the  excitement  caused  by  rumors 
from  the  battle  fields  of  the  Revolution  kept  the  public  mind  inflamed,  the  labors  of 
the  local  Committee  became  more  onerous.  At  a  meeting  on  the  14th  of  Decem- 
ber, 1776,  convened  by  "express  from  Capt.  John  Brady,"  several  grave  charges 
ailecting  the  loyalty  of  Robert  Robb,  of  Muncy,  were  laid  before  them.  The 
charges  were: 

1.  That  the  Congress  had  blinded  the  eyes  of  the  people. 

2.  That  he  has  discouraged  the  men  drafted  to  go  in  the  militia,  and  that  he  had 
influenced  George  Silverthorn  so  that  he  nor  any  of  his  family  would  not  fight  against  the 
King  of  Great  Britain. 

3.  That  the  terms  Lord  Howe  had  proposed  were  such  as  we  should  accept  of,  or  what 
would  be  pleasing  to  him. 

4.  That  Benjamin  Franklin,  one  of  the  Congress,  was  a  villain,  and  had  behaved  as  such 

5.  That  it  was  Mr.  Robb's  opinion  there  was  bribery  in  the  Convention. 

Accompanying  these  charges  were  a  number  of  affidavits.  Thomas  Newman,  who 
made  his  mark,  swore  that  he  heard  Robb  say  that  the  conditions  of  peace  offered 
by  Howe  suited  him,  and  that  he  believed  Franklin  was  a  rogue;  "  that  he  had 
led  the  government  into  two  or  three  scrapes  already  known  to  him ;  that  it  was 
thought  Franklin  had  a  pension  from  home;  that  the  Convention  was  bribed."  Lord 
Howe  had  used  the  Committee  sent  to  treat  with  him  politely,  but  they  had  used  him 
ill.      Deponent  thought  that  the  Committee  should  consider  these  things. 

Joseph  Newman,  probably  a  brother  or  son,  confirmed  the  foregoing  charges,  and 
then  signed  his  name. 

John  Morris,  who  was  also  able  to  write  his  name,  testified  that  he  had  heard 
Robb  say  that  peace  was  kept  back  by  Congress,  and  that  it  was  well  known  what 
Rittenhouse  and  Franklin  were;  that  it  was  a  minority  that  held  this  new  form  of 
government,  and  that  the  majority  should  not  be  ruled  by  the  minority. 

Another  witness,  James  Giles,  had  seen  Robb  pull  out  a  paper  and  read  Howe's 
terms  of  peace,  and  then  heard  him  say  that  he  believed  our  rulers  kept  peace  back. 

John  Silverthorn  had  been  at  Robb's  house  and  then  went  with  him  to  a  "  chinj- 
ney  raising  in  the  neighborhood;"  that  while  there  "Robb  pulled  out  a  hand  bill 
which  gave  an  account  of  General  Washington's  army  being  in  need  of  a  reinforcement, 
and  said  in  public  that  it  was  necessary  for  every  one  to  turn  out  that  could  go;  after 
a  while  he  pulled  out  another  paper,  which  he  said  was  a  declaration  of  peace  from 
Lord  Howe  and  read  it  in  public ;  after  reading  said  paper  Mr.  Robb  said  he  came 
on  purpose  to  see  Mr.  Newman,  whether  or  not  he  thought  proper  to  call  some  of  the 
neighbors  together  in  order  to  see  whether  the  declaration  was  of  any  effect  or  not, 
(as  he  was  one  of  the  town  Committee, )  and  how  they  would  take  it,  as  he  could  not 
depend  on  his  own  judgment  on  such  an  occasion,  as  being  but  one  person."  De- 
ponent further  said  that  ' '  after  the  papers  came  out  with  an  account  of  what  passed 
between  General  Howe  and  the  Committee  at  Staten  island,  he  was  telling  Robb  that 
he  heard  them  read  at  Mr.  McKinney'  s,  and  Mr.  Robb  said  that  he  thought  it  would 


not  be  proper  to  lay  down  their  arms  till  peace  would  be  concluded  on  better  terms 
than  these  for  the  benefit  of  the  country." 

Lieut.  John  Scudder  swore  that  "  Robb  said  that  the  King's  troops  are  able  to 
learn  us  to  beat  themselves,  as  Peter  the  Great  said  of  Charles,  King  of  Sweden,  and 
Robb  never  did  anything  against  the  cause  of  America,  but  always  encouraged  the 
same  to  the  best  of  his  knowledge." 

After  hearing  the  evidence  on  both  sides  the  Comniittee  concluded  that  Robb  had 
behaved  so  a's  to  give  just  grounds  for  the  Committee  "  to  suspect  him  of  being  not 
only  unfriendly  but  even  inimical  to  our  common  cause,"  and  it  was  resolved  that 
"  Robert  Robb  shall  either  take  his  gun  and  march  immediately  with  the  militia  of 
this  county  into  actual  service  for  the  defence  of  the  United  States,  in  order  to  wipe 
off  the  present  evil  suspicions,  or  otherwise  be  committed  to  the  care  of  Col.  James 
Murray,  to  be  by  him  sent  to  some  proper  place  of  confinement  until  released  by 
further  authority."  The  sentence  was  signed  by  Paul  Geddes,  chairman,  by  order 
of  the  Committee. 

Robb,  however,  did  not  feel  inclined  to  submit  to  the  sentence,  and  he  notified 
the  Committee  that  he  desired  "to  appeal  to  the  Council  of  Safety  of  this  State." 
The  Committee  therefore  passed  a  resolution  that  he  "  might  appeal  to  said 
Council  under  the  care  of  the  said  Colonel  Murray." 

The  trial  and  sentence  of  Robb  by  the  local  Committee  of  Safety  evidently  caused 
some  feeling  in  the  community,  which  required  years  to  efface.  Robb  no  doubt  felt 
aggrieved,  as  he  doubted  the  authority  of  the  Committee  to  so  act  toward  him.  And 
it  is  likely  that  the  whole  affair  grew  out  of  personal  feeling  on  the  part  of  a  few 
individuals,  who  took  advantage  of  the  excited  condition  of  the  public  mind  to 
manufacture  sentiment  against  him.  The  evidence  of  two  of  the  most  reputable 
witnesses,  Silverthorn  and  Scudder,  is  to  the  effect  that  he  never  did  anything 
inimical  to  the  cause  of  the  people,  but  really  favored  the  war  for  independence. 

Robb  evidently  had  been  goaded  into  making  remarks  about  the  moral  standing 
of  a  few  members  of  the  Committee,  and  smarting  under  these  charges,  they  wanted 
to  punish  him  for  treasonable  utterances.  The  Robb  family  was  a  prominent  one  in 
the  settlement  and  had  taken  an  active  part  in  the  struggle  for  liberty.  They  were 
good  citizens  then,  as  their  descendants  are  to-day. 

Robb  was  subsequently  indicted  by  the  grand  jury  of  Northumberland  county 
for  misprision  of  treason,  tried  at  November  sessions,  1780,  acquitted,  and  discharged 
upon  payment  of  fees.  The  fact  that  his  trial  was  for  misprision  of  treason  shows 
that  he  was  not  regarded  as  clearly  guilty  of  the  charges  made  by  certain  parties, 
but  that  his  remarks  were  misconstrued.  His  prompt  acquittal  bears  out  this  con- 
clusion. Years  afterwards  he  was  appointed  a  justice  by  Governor  Miffiin,  which 
attests  the  esteem  in  which  he"  was  held  by  his  friends  and  neighbors. 


The  old  Committee,  of  which  Geddes  was  chairman,  having  ceased  to  exist,  the 
new  Committee  chosen  to  serve  for  six  months  met  at  Northumberland,  February  13, 
1777,  and  organized.  Muncy  township  returned  John  Coats,  James  Hampton,  and 
William  Hammond.  Thomas  Jordan  was  chosen  chairman,  and  John  Coats  clerk. 
The  Committee  adjourned  to  the  11th  of  March.    At  the  March  meeting  much  business 


of  importance  came  before  the  Committee.  Capt.  Benjamin  Weiser  reported  that 
a  number  of  persons  who  had  been  out  under  his  command  in  the  militia  of  this 
cotinty  with  the  Continental  Army  in  New  Jersey,  had  deserted  and  returned  home. 
This  was  a  grave  charge  and  demanded  prompt  action.  It  was  ordered  that  a 
day  of  muster  be  designated  for  these  persons  to  meet  and  march  off  to  camp  and 
serve  out  their  time;  and  if  they  failed  to  obey  this  order  they  were  to  be  taken  up 
and  committed  as  deserters. 

It  was  announced  that  a  letter  had  been  received  from  the  Committee  of  Bald 
Eagle  township,  together  with  a  resolution,  against  the  selling  of  grain,  which  they 
wished  to  have  considered  in  full  Committee  before  taking  final  action.  The  reso- 
lution was  as  follows: 

February  26, 1777. — ^We  the  Cotamittee  of  the  township  of  Bald  Eagle,  met,  and  as  a  com- 
plaint was  made  to  us  by  a  number  of  the  inhabitants  that  there  is  a  quantity  of  rye  that  is 
going  to  be  carried  out  of  the  township  for  stilling,  and  that  there  are  some  of  the  inhabitants 
who  have  not  sold  their  grain  as  yet,  nor  will  not  sell  without  they  get  eighteen  pence  or  two 
shillings  per  bushel  above  the  highest  market  price  that  grain  is  bringing  in  the  country,  but 
will  keep  it  and  carry  it  off;  and  as  it  appears  to  us  that  a  great  number  of  the  inhabitants  of 
the  township  will  suffer  if  such  a  practice  is  allowed  to  go  on:  therefore,  we 

Seiohed,  That  no  stiller  in  this  township  shall  buy  any  more  grain  this  season  for  to  still, 
or  still  any  more  than  what  he  hath  already  by  him.  And,  further,  we  resolve  that  no  grain  be 
carried  out  of  this  township  till  the  necessity  of  the  poor  is  supplied,  or  till  the  1st  day  of  May 
next;  and  any  person  having  grain  of  any  kind  to  dispose  of,  and  will  not  take  the  market 
price  at  Sunbury,  deducting  a  reasonable  carriage,  or  the  highest  price  that  it  will  be  there 
when  the  grain  is  wanted,  we  allow  to  seize  on  it  and  take  it  by  force,  and  pay  them  their 
money.     Given  tmder  our  hands  the  day  above  mentioned. 

J0H>-   DiCKSOX, 

Robert  Love, 
James  Ekwix. 

After  careful  consideration  of  the  question,  the  full  Committee  referred  back  the 
resolution  in  this  form: 

Sesohed,  That  the  Committee  of  Bald  Eagle  is  the  most  competent  judges  of  the  circum- 
stances of  the  people  in  that  township;  that  therefore  the  affair  be  referred  back  to  them  to  act 
as  they  shall  see  just  cause,  but  in  the  meantime  that  they  be  cautioned  against  using  too  much 
rigor  in  their  measures,  and  that  they  keep  by  moderation  as  much  as  possible,  and  study  a 
sort  of  medium  between  seizing  of  property  and  supplying  the  wants  of  the  poor. 

The  conditions  of  the  country  were  serious  at  that  time.  The  Revolutionary 
war  was  at  its  height:  the  savages  were  threatening  the  frontier,  and  the  people 
were  kept  in  a  constant  state  of  alarm  and  fear.  But  in  no  other  part  of  this  valley 
does  it  appear  that  such  extreme  measures  were  adopted  as  in  Bald  Eagle.  The 
general  Committee,  judging  from  the  cautious  wording  of  their  resolution,  were  in 
doubt  as  to  the  propriety  of  such  sweeping  measures  being  endorsed  by  them,  and 
threw  the. weight  of  responsibility  on  the  township  Committee. 

Another  complaint  from  the  same  township  shows  that  the  people,  or  a  portion 
of  them  at  least,  were  imbued  with  strong  notions  regarding  the  sanctity  of  the  Sab- 
bath. The  Committee  had  a  complaint  before  them  of  a  "  certain  Henry  Sterrat 
profaning  the  Sabbath  in  an  unchristian  and  scandalous  manner,  by  causing  his  serv- 
ants to  maul  rails,  etc. ,  on  that  day,  and  beating  and  abusing  them  if  they  offered 
to  disobey  such  unlawful  commands."  This  was  an  easier  question  for  the  Com- 
mittee to  solve  than  the  one  relating  to  the  confiscation  of  grain,  for  they  promptly 


issued  orders  "that  the  Committee  of  Bald  Eagle  township,  where  he  [Sterrat]  now 
resides,  be  recommended  to  suppress  such  like  practices  to  the  utmost  of  their 
power."  Sterrat  was  a  settler  in  what  is  now  known  as  Long  Island,  but  what 
became  of  him  is  unknown.  Perhaps  after  being  suppressed  by  the  Committee  for 
Sabbath  breaking  and  beating  his  servants,  he  left  the  township. 


At  a  meeting  of  the  Committee  on  the  17th  of  April,  1777,  William  Read,  of 
Bald  Eagle  township,  was  reported  to  them  as  having  been  taken  into  custody  for 
"refusing  to  associate  and  bear  arms  in  behalf  of  the  States."  On  being  brought 
before  the  Committee  and  asked  his  reasons  for  doing  so,  he  informed  them  that  he 
was  once  concerned  in  a  riot  in  Ireland  "  commonly  known  by  the  name  of  the  Hearts 
of  Steel,  and  was  taken  prisoner,  tried,  and  acquitted  upon  his  taking  an  oath  of 
allegiance  to  the  King,  and  coming  under  solemn  obligations  never  to  lift  arms 
against  him  for  the  future;  he  therefore  looked  upon  it  as  a  breach  of  his  oath  to 
muster  or  bear  arms  in  behalf  of  the  States,  as  the  arms  of  the  States  were  now 
employed  against  the  King  to  whom  he  had  sworn  allegiance."  His  respect  for  his 
oath  was  a  surprise  to  the  Committee,  and  they  were  at  a  loss  how  to  proceed.  He 
was  then  asked  if  "he  had  any  objections  to  the  cause  the  United  States  was  now 
engaged  in,"  to  which  he  replied  that  he  had  not,  and  "  would  be  as  forward  and  will- 
ing as  any  one  to  join  in  it,  could  he  do  so  without  breach  of  his  oath."  This  was  a 
poser  for  the  Committee  again,  and  caused  further  consideration.  He  was  then 
asked  if  he  would  take  an  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  United  States,  to  which  he 
promptly  replied  that  "  he  would  if  it  did  not  oblige  him  to  take  up  arms."  This 
seemed  reasonable,  as  well  as  patriotic,  and  the  Committee  submitted  the  form  of  an 
oath  to  him,  to  which  he  was  qualified  as  follows: 

I  do  swear  to  be  true  to  the  United  States  of  America,  and  to  renounce  and  disclaim  all 
allegiance  to  the  King  of  Great  Britain,  and  promise  that  I  will  not  either  directly  or  indirectly 
speak  or  act  anything  in  prejudice  to  the  cause  or  safety  of  the  United  States,  or  lift  arms 
against  them,  or  be  any  way  assistant  to  their  declared  enemies  in  any  case  whatsoever. 

"Wii.'  Eead. 

This  was  satisfactory  to  the  Committee,  and  he  was  dismissed  on  "paying  the 
sum  of  seventeen  shillings  and  one  penny  halfpenny, "  which  was  the  cost  of  bring- 
ing him  before  them. 


Although  the  outlook  for  peace  and  safety  on  the  frontier  was  exceedingly 
gloomy,  there  was  a  constant  influx  of  new  settlers  during  the  year  1777.  They 
came  mostly  from  New  Jersey.  That  State  being  overrun  by  both  the  British  and 
Continental  armies  had  much  to  do  with  the  exodus  to  this  beautiful  valley.  Doubt- 
less they  imagined  it  would  be  easier  to  encounter  the  Indians  than  to  stand  the 
ravages  of  the  foraging  parties  of  the  contending  armies,  and  they  were  willing  to 
take  the  risk  in  a  new  country. 

With  all  the  appeals  that  could  be  made  by  the  Committee  of  Safety  to  the  Supreme 
Executive  Council,  that  body  was  slow  to  take  any  steps  for  the  better  protection  of 
the  frontier,  and  the  inhabitants  were  kept  in  a  constant  state  of  alarm,  because  they 


had  good  reasons  for  believing  that  the  savages  contemplated  attacking  them.  Efforts 
were  made  by  Capt.  John  Brady  and  others  to  make  a  treaty  with  the  Monsey 
and  Seneca  Indians,  who  were  known  not  to  be  on  very  good  terms  with  the  Dela- 
wares.  The  Indians  agreed  to  a  conference,  and  on  an  appointed  day  assembled  at 
Fort  Augusta  to  the  number  of  100  or  more,  dressed  in  war  costume.  It  had  been 
the  custom  at  all  former  treaties  to  make  large  presents,  but  as  the  people,  owing 
to  their  impoverished  condition,  had  nothing  to  give,  the  Indians  refused  to  treat. 
They  left  the  fort  apparently  in  good  humor  to  return  to  their  towns  up  the  river. 
It  was  after  their  departure  that  the  incident  of  Brady's  upsetting  a  whisky  barrel 
at  Derr's  trading  post  occurred.  Fearing  that  Derr  would  furnish  them  with 
liquor,  and  dreading  the  consequences,  he  followed  them,  and,  as  he  anticipated, 
found  the  Indians  engaged  in  drunken  revelry  at  the  post.  A  barrel  of  rum  stood 
at  the  door  with  the  head  knocked  out,  which  Brady  promptly  overturned.  Derr 
had  thoughtlessly  given  it  to  them,  because  they  complained  of  not  receiving  a  treat 
at  the  fort.  One  Indian  who  witnessed  the  spilling  of  the  rum,  but  was  too  drunk 
to  prevent  it,  told  Brady  with  a  horrid  grimace  that  he  would  one  day  regret  his 
act.  From  that  day  Brady  was  a  marked  man.  Derr's  trading  post  stood  on 
the  great  path  leading  up  the  river,  on  what  is  now  the  site  of  Lewisburg. 

Soon  after  this  fruitless  conference  the  Indians  left  their  habitations  at  the  Great 
Island,  which  seems  to  have  been  their  headquarters,  and  retired  further  north. 
Before  leaving  they  cut  down  their  corn  and  destroyed  everything  that  might  be  of 
service  to  the  whites. 


As  time  wore  on  the  Indians  grew  more  bold  and  threatening,  and  during  the  sum- 
mer, autumn,  and  winter  of  1777,  the  settlers  were  kept  in  a  continued  state  of  excite- 
ment on  account  of  the  rumors  which  filled  the  air.  It  is  much  regretted  that  no 
full  record  of  the  names  of  those  killed,  and  carried  into  captivity,  have  been  pre- 
served. The  only  record  we  have  of  those  dark  and  bloody  days  consists  of  letters  hur- 
riedly written  by  militia  officers  in  command  of  small  companies  scattered  through 
the  valley",  and  directed  to  the  Executive  Council  at  Philadelphia,  and  preserved 
in  the  Colonial  Records  and  Archives  of  the  State.  As  many  of  these  letters  were 
based  on  rumors,  the  statements  were  sometimes  exaggerated,  and  frequently  barren 
of  details. 

On  a  Sunday  morning  in  June,  1777,  Zephaniah  Miller,  Abel  Cady,  James  Arm- 
strong, and  Isaac  Bouser  left  Antes  Fort  and  crossed  the  river  into  the  disputed  ter- 
ritory, with  two  women,  for  the  purpose  of  milking  several  cows  that  were  pasturing 
there.  It  did  not  occur  to  the  party  that  Indians  were  lurking  there,  and  that  the 
cow  with  the  bell  was  kept  back  as  a  decoy.  They  were  there,  however,  and  the  cow 
was  detained  for  the  purpose  of  luring  them  on.  Cady,  Armstrong,  and  Miller  started 
to  find  her.  As  soon  as  they  entered  the  bushes  they  were  fired  on  by  the  con- 
cealed foe,  and  Miller  and  Cady  fell  severely  wounded.  They  were  pounced  upon 
and  scalped  in  the  twinkling  of  an  eye.  Armstrong,  who  was  injured  in  the  back  of 
the  head,  succeeded  in  getting  away.  When  the  shots  were  fired  Bouser  and  the 
women  ran  and  concealed  themselves. 

The  firing  alarmed  the  militia  in  the  fort,  and  a  number  hurried  across  the  river. 

SETTLERS    ON    3IUXCY    MANOR.  107 


despite  the  orders  of  Colonel  Antes,  who  feared  it  might  be  a  decoy  to  draw  the  force 
away,  when  the  fort  would  be  assailed  from  the  other  side.  Eeaehing  the  shore  they 
soon  found  Cady  and  Miller  where  they  fell.  Cady  was  not  dead.  He  was  carried 
to  the  river  bank,  where  his  wife,  who  was  one  of  the  milking  party,  met  him.  He- 
reached  out  his  hand  to  her  and  almost  immediately  expired.  Armstrong  was  taken 
across  the  river  to  the  fort,  where  he  lingered  in  great  agony  till  Monday  night,  when 
he  died. 

As  this  party  was  on  the  land  claimed  by  the  Indians,  they  no  doubt  took  advan- 
tage of  this  fact  as  an  excuse  for  attacking  them.  Having  secured  two  scalps  they 
quickly  tied,  and  when  a  pursuing  party  was  organized  and  crossed  the  river,  they 
were  some  distance  away.  The  pursuers,  however,  moved  swiftly  and  soon  came  in 
sight  of  them  at  what  was  known  at  that  time  as  the  "race  ground."  The  Indians 
stood  and  fired,  then  broke  and  iied,  pursued  by  the  whites.  They  ran  across  what 
is  now  the  western  part  of  Jersey  Shore  and  escaped  in  the  swamp.  It  was  danger- 
ous to  enter  the  tangled  thickets  and  the  pursuers  returned.  They  fired  several  times 
at  the  retreating  foe,  however,  and  thought  they  did  some  execution,  as  marks  of 
blood  were  seen  on  the  trail  as  if  they  had  dragged  away  their  killed  or  wounded. 
The  Indians  probably  fled  in  the  direction  of  Pine  creek  and  then  ascended  that 
stream  to  their  hiding  places. 


This  affair  caused  great  excitement  in  the  settlements  along  the  river,  and  the- 
authorities  called  upon  the  militia  to  be  on  the  alert.  Scouring  parties  were  sent 
out  to  look  for  Indians.  In  the  meantime  the  authorities  at  Philadelphia  were  call- 
ing for  reinforcements  for  Washington's  army,  and  the  p'eople  of  Northumberland 
were  begging  for  help  to  protect  them  from  the  savages.  The  situation  was  truly 
alarming  and  discouraging. 

Under  date  of  September  10,  1777,  Colonel  Hunter  informed  the  Executive 
Council  that,  although  the  "  first  class  of  militia"  were  held  in  readiness  to  march 
to  join  Washington's  army,  the  inhabitants  were  greatly  in,  fear  of  the  Indians 
coming  upon  them.  There  were  rumors  that  two  hundred  hostile  Indians  were 
concentrated  "about  forty  miles  above  the  Great  Island."  Col.  Cookson  Long 
had  been  sent  with  his  company  to  ascertain  if  the  report  was  true.  The  Colonel 
closed  by  saying  that  he  wanted  "five  hundred  stand  of  arms,"  and  Captain 
Lowdon,  who  was  the  member  of  Council  from  this  county,  would  state  the  facts  to 

On  the  27th  of  October,  Colonel  Hunter  acknowledged  the  receipt  of  £750 
for  the  use  of  the  militia  on  the  frontier,  and  500  pounds  of  powder  and  1,200 
pounds  of  lead,  "  but  no  rifle  guns."     Ammunition  without  guns  was  useless. 

Referring  to  the  order  of  Council  to  disarm  all  persons  who  had  not  taken  the 
oath  of  allegiance.  Colonel  Hunter  said  he  "  could  not  with  any  propriety  take  the 
army  from  those  on  the  frontiers,"  because  "  they  were  willing  to  stand  in  their  own 
defence  against  the  savages,  yet  never  said  they  would  not  take  the  oath,  but  wanted 
time  to  consider."  Colonel  Kelley,  he  continued,  was  on  the  frontier  with  fifty  men 
looking  for  Indians.  Favorable  reports  would  encourage  the  people  to  go  back  to 
their  habitations.     "  Since  the  first  alarm,"   he  adds,    "  upwards  of  500  women  and 



children  assembled  at  three  different  places  on  the  West  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna, 
viz:  at  the  mouth  of  Bald  Eagle,  Antes  mill,  and  Lycoming." 


Several  brave  parties,  among  them  William  King,  Robert  Covenhoven,  and 
■James  Armstrong,  had  commenced  the  erection  of  a  stockade  near  Lycoming  creek 
for  the  protection  of  refugees.  It  consisted  of  logs  eight  or  ten  feet  long,  planted 
in  the  ground  side  by  side,  with  the  tops  leaning  outward,  so  that  the  works  could  not 
be  scaled  It  covered,  perhaps,  half  an  acre,  and  was  located  near  what  is  now 
known  as  Fourth  and  Stevens  streets,  Williamsport.  It  was  at  this  place  where  the 
women  and  children  alluded  to  by  Colonel  Hunter  were  assembled.  The  work  was 
not  completed,  owing  to  the  evacuation  of  the  valley,  which  soon  followed,  but  that 
it  served  as  a  temporary  place  of  resort  is  not  doubted. 

COOKSON  loxg'  s  C0irPA>T. 

The  muster  roll  of  Capt.  Cookson  Long's  company,  of  the  Second  Battalion, 
county  militia,  has  been  preserved,  and  may  be  found  on  page  329,  Vol.  XIV,  Penn- 
sylvania Archives.  That  the  reader  may  see  who  comi^osed  that  company  of  rangers 
along  the  river  at  that  time  it  is  reproduced  in  full.  Many  familiar  names  will  be 
recognized,  as  descendants  of  these  rangers  dwell  in  the  county  to-day.  Other 
names  are  strange,  because  the  owTiers  were  either  killed  or  left  the  valley  when 
their  terms  of  service  expired. 

Captain,  Cookson  Long. 

First  Lieutenant,  James  Hayes. 

Second  Lieutenant,  Joseph  Bonser. 

Ensign,  Joseph  Newman. 

Privates. — Eobert  Covenhoven,  James  Covenhoven,  Ebenezer  Cook,  Peter  Wy- 
koff,  George  Barclay,  Joseph  Wykoff,  William  Jones,  Peter  Styker,  William 
Snodgrass,  Joseph  Gannon,  Frederick  Leefe,  Cornelius  Low,  James  White,  Ezekiel 
Brown,  Thomas  Silverthorn,  Thomas  Johnston,  Ebenezer  Green,  John  Andrews, 
Alexander  Fullerton,  Joseph  Cowan,  Adam  Wisner,  James  Ramsey,  George  Stecu- 
man,  Samuel  King,  Matthew  Cunningham,  Michael  Brown,  Henry  Dougherty, 
Johnston'  Cheney,  Benjamin  Jordan,  Samuel  Blair,  Ralph  Slack.  Joseph  Hall,  Ed- 
ward Collopy,  Joshua  Napp.  Philip  Cotner,  Henry  Hill,  David  Richards,  Robert 
Wilson,  Abel  Slaback,  William  Slaback,  Henry  Stryker,  Patrick  Donahue,  John 
Muekilvaine,  John  Dunlap,  John  Williams,  John  King,  Adam  King,  John  Muck- 
ilear,  Michael  Seele,  Peter  Roddj-,  John  Luce,  Patrick  Hughes,  William  Wyley, 
Andrew  Donaldson,  Thomas  Clarke,  Zephauiah  Miller,  James  Van  Camp,  Richard 
Matlock,  Cornelius  McMickel,  William  Camel,  Robert  Fleming,  blacksmith,  John 
Reed,  James  McMickel,  William  Reed,  John  Kinkade,  Andrew  Boggs,  Robert  Flem- 
ing, Creek,  William  Dewitt,  Isaac  Reed,  James  Dunn,  Barnabas  Camel. 


On  the  point  of  a  high  bluif,  just  below  the  mouth  of  Antes  creek,  the  famous 
Col.  Henry  Antes  built  a  stockade  in  1776.  It  became  a  place  of  some  note  and 
was  frequently  occupied  by  settlers  for  safety.      A  small  body  of  armed  mUtia  was 



stationed  here  for  some  time,  and  it  was  here  that  Job  Chilloway  caught  the  sleep- 
ing sentinel,  the  circumstance  of  which  has  been  related.  No  records  remain  to 
show  the  size  of  the  enclosure,  or  whether  cannon  were  ever  mounted  on  its  ram- 
parts. Tradition  informs  us  that  there  was  a  small  cannon  brought  from  Fort 
Augusta  and  placed  in  position;  and  the  finding  of  an  iron  cannon  ball  years  after- 
wards, near  the  base  of  the  hill,  leaves  little  room  to  doubt  the  truth  of  the 

Colonel  Antes  was  conspicuous  as  one  of  the  defenders.  He  was  born  near 
Pottsgrove,  Montgomery  county,  October  8,  1736,  and  when  quite  a  young  man 
came  here  and  settled.  July  29,  1775,  he  was  appointed  a  justice  of  the  peace;  Jan- 
uary 24,  1776,  captain  of  the  Eighth  Company,  Second  Battalion,  Associated  Militia, 
Col.  James  Potter;  and  on  the  13th  of  March  he  commanded  a  company  in  Col- 
onel Plunkett's  regiment  in  his  unfortunate  raid  on  Wyoming.  March  13,  1776,  he 
was  made  captain  of  the  First  Company,  Third  Battalion;  April  19,  1776,  captain  of 
a  company  in  the  Second  Battalion  of  Associators.  May,  1777,  he  was  commis- 
sioned lieutenant  colonel  of  the  Fourth  Battalion  by  the  Supreme  Executive  Coun- 
cil. His  commission  was  beautifully  engrossed  on  parchment  and  signed  by  Thomas 
Wharton,  president  of  Council,  and  Timothy  Matlack,  secretary.  It  was  kept  by 
his  descendants  a  long  time  as  a  precious  relic. 

Soon  after  locating  he  built  a  grist  mill  at  the  foot  of  the  hill  on  which  his  stock- 
ade was  erected.  This  was  before  Wallis  built  his  mill  on  Carpenter's  run.  It  was 
the  first  mill  in  the  western  end  of  Lycoming  county,  and  was  gladly  welcomed  by 
the  early  settlers.  The  original  was  long  since  destroyed,  but  the  site  is  occupied 
by  one  of  modei'n  construction.  Before  his  mill  was  erected,  when  the  fort  was 
being  built,  coarse  flour  was  made  by  grinding  wheat  in  a  large  iron  coffee  mill,  and 
the  bran  was  removed  by  a  hair  sieve.  One  person  was  kept  running  the  mill  all 
the  time  in  order  to  keep  up  the  supply  of  flour.  This  primitive  mill  was  kept  as  a 
relic  of  pioneer  days  until  1865,  when  it  was  lost  in  the  great  flood  of  that  year. 

Colonel  Antes  was  first  elected  sheriff  of  Northumberland  county  in  October, 
1782.  He  gave  his  brothers  Frederick  and  William  Antes  "  as  sureties  for  the  faith- 
ful performance  of  the  duties  of  his  office."  He  was  re-elected  in  1783,  and  on  the 
22d  of  November  he  gave  the  same  sureties  on  his  bond. 

Colonel  Antes  was  inarried  twice.  By  his  first  wife,  Maria  Paulin,  whom  he  mar- 
ried, May  11,  1756,  he  had  five  children.  She  died  in  March,  1767.  On  December 
8th  of  the  same  year  he  married  Sophia  Snyder.      By  her  he  had  eight  children. 

This  distinguished  patriot,  soldier,  and  civil  officer,  died.  May  13,  1820,  aged 
eighty- three  years,  nine  months,  and  five  days,  and  was  buried  in  the  little  cemetery 
on  the  hill  near  where  his  fort  stood.  In  recent  years  searches  were  made  for  his 
grave,  but  no  trace  of  it  could  be  found.  It  is  greatly  lamented  by  his  friends  that 
an  humble  stone  at  least  was  not  reared  to  mark  his  last  resting  place. 


In  the  autumn  of  1777  a  band  of  hostile  savages  appeared  on  the  Loyalsock  and 
committed  an  atrocious  outrage.  Daniel  Brown  was  among  the  earliest  settlers  in 
this  part  of  the  county.  He  had  two  daughters  married  to  two  brothers  named 
Benjamin,  and  they  lived  near  the  cabin  of  their  father-in-law.     On  the  alarm  of 

110  HISTOKY    OF    LYCOMING    COUNTY.       . 

the  approach  of  the  Indians,  the  Benjamins,  with  their  families,  fled  to  the  residence 
of  Mr.  Brown  and  made  preparations  to  defend  themieves.  The  Indians  made  an 
attack  on  the  house  but  met  with  a  stout  resistance,  which  was  kept  up  for  some 
time.  During  the  fight  an  Indian  was  killed  by  a  shot  from  a  gun  in  the  hands  of 
one  of  the  Benjamins.  This  greatly  enraged  the  assailants  and  finding  they  could 
not  dislodge  the  besieged,  they  managed  to  set  fire  to  the  house.  The  flames  made 
rapid  headway  and  a  horrible  death  stared  the  inmates  in  the  face  if  they  remained 
inside.  What  was  to  be  done  ?  Remain  inside  and  be  consumed,  or  come  forth  to  be 
dispatched  by  the  tomahawks  of  the  savages?     Either  alternative  was  a  fearful  one. 

The  Benjamins  flnally  decided  to  come  forth  and  trust  themselves  to  the  mercy 
of  their  foes.  Brown  refused,  and  remaining  in  the  building  with  his  wife  and  one 
daughter,  all  three  were  consumed.  When  the  Benjamins  emerged  from  the  door 
one  of  them  carried  his  youngest  child  in  his  anns.  A  burly  savage  brandished  his 
tomahawk  and  with  a  fiendish  yell  buried  the  glittering  steel  in  the  brain  of  Benja- 
min. As  he  fell  his  wife,  who  was  by  his  side,  shrieked  and  caught  the  child  in  her 
arms.  His  scalp  was  quickly  torn  from  his  head  and  esultingly  shaken  in  her  face. 
The  remainder  of  the  survivors  were  seized  and  carried  into  captivity.  This  horrible 
tragedy  occurred  on  what  was  long  knovpn  as  the  Buckley  farm,  on  Loyalsock. 

The  Benjamin  families  lived  a  few  miles  northeast  of  Williamsport.  Three 
brothers  and  a  small  sister  were  taken  prisoners.  Their  names  were  William, 
Nathan,  and  Ezekiel.  The  name  of  the  one  who  was  killed  is  not  known,  and  the 
name  of  the  sister  has  been  lost.  After  a  few  years  the  captured  boys  were  released 
and  returned.  The  young  sister  grew  up  among  the  Indians,  married,  and  had 
several  children.  Long  after  peace  was  made  her  brother  William  went  after  her 
and  induced  her  to  return.  She  remained  here  some  time,  but  being  always  dis- 
contented and  unhappy,  she  was  permitted  to  return  to  her  Indian  comrades.  What 
became  of  the  wife  of  Benjamin,  the  meager  accounts  of  the  affair  do  not  inform  us, 
but  it  is  probable  that  she  was  soon  afterwards  released. 

This  bloodthirsty  attack,  when  the  particulars  became  noised  about,  added  fresh 
fuel  to  the  flame  of  excitement  and  set  the  inhabitants  wild  with  terror.  That  the 
Indians  had  entered  into  an  alliance  with  the  British  to  make  an  attack  in  the  rear 
could  be  no  longer  doubted,  and  many  families  left  the  valley  for  better  security. 
What  could  be  done  to  stay  the  avenging  hand  of  the  savaga?  This  was  the  grave 
and  imperious  question  which  stared  every  settler  in  the  face.  Must  they  abandon 
their  improvements  to  the  torch,  remain,  and  be  butchered  or  carried  into  captivity? 
The  Supreme  Executive  Council  had  been  appealed  to  in  vain.  Nothing,  compara- 
tively, was  being  done  for  their  protection  ;  but,  instead,  the  constant  cry  was  for 
men  to  reinforce  the  Continental  army.  Were  ever  pioneers  in  a  worse  predicament? 
Helpless  to  protect  themselves;  destitute  of  arms  and  ammunition;  a  few  poorly 
clad  and  half-starved  militia  all  that  they  could  rely  upon  to  stand  between  them  and 
a  powerful  and  wily  foe,  backed  by  the  sympathy,  encouragement,  and  gold  of  a 
strong  nation.  Such  was  the  condition  of  affairs  in  the  territory  now  composing 
Lycoming  county  in  the  closing  months  of  1777. 


The  troubles  of  the  people  were  not  alone  confined  to  the  savages.     They  had 


some  difficulty  about  the  election  of  magistrates,"  as  the  following  petition,  the  original 
of  which  has  been  preserved,  will  show.  It  was  prepared  under  date  of  December  2, 
1777,  and  addressed  to  the  Supreme  Executive  Council,  under  this  head  :  ' '  The 
memorial  and  petitions  of  the  inhabitants  of  Muncy  township  in  Northumberland 
county  in  this  State  humbly  sheweth  :  " 

That  WHEREAS,  The  General  ABsembly  of  this  State  was  pleased  to  pass  au  act  for 
revising  and  putting  in  force  such  and  so  much  of  the  ancient  laws  of  this  Commonwealth  as 
was  agreeable  to  and  consistent  with  our  present  Constitution,  and  for  establishing  courts  of 
justice  within  the  same,  and  passed  an  act  for  electing  magistrates  in  the  several  townships  in 
this  State,  in  pursuance  of  which  a  number  of  the  inhabitants  of  this  township  met  and  elected 
two  persons  for  justices  of  the  peace,  viz:  Messrs.  Mordecai  McKinney  and  Andrew  Culbert- 
son,  each  having  thirty-six  votes;  but  as  said  election  was  opposed  by  about  fourteen  designing 
persons,  who  had  a  separate  election  and  made  return  of  the  same,  and  both  returns  being  pre- 
sented to  your  Honors,  we  were  thereupon  informed  that  you  were  pleased  to  order  us  to  hold 
a  new  election,  which  we  accordingly  did  and  again  elected  the  same  two  gentlemen,  Mordecai 
McKinney  and  Andrew  Culbertson,  the  former  having  forty  and  the  latter  forty-eight  votes, 
and  made  return.  , 

We  likewise  at  the  same  time  sent  down  a  petition  to  your  Honors  signed  by  a  great  num- 
ber of  the  inhabitants  of  our  township  setting  forth  the  situation  of  the  township  on  account  of 
waters  and  other  inconveniences,  and  craving  that  both  the  persons  chosen  might  be  com- 
missioned, as  they  live  one  at  or  near  each  end  of  the  township,  as  more  fully  set  forth  in  said 

But  we  are  well  convinced  that  the  approach  of  the  enemy  to  our  metropolis  [Lancaster], 
where  your  Honors  were  then  sitting,  must  of  consequence  put  the  House  into  great  hurry  and 
confusion,  which  we  are  satisfied  has  been  the'  reason  that  our  petition  has  been  either  post- 
poned or  neglected. 

The  inconvenience  we  labor  under  at  present  is  very  great,  having  no  magistrate  near  us 
on  any  side,  and  though  we  are  content  to  bear  our  part  of  hardships  of  whatever  kind  in  the 
time  of  public  calamity,  yet  we  beg  that  your  wisdoms  would  be  pleased  to  grant  us  relief  as 
speedily  as  possible  by  granting  us  the  prayer  of  our  petition,  etc. 

That  all  our  trouble  may  end  in  prosperity  and  peace;  that  government  may  prosper  in 
your  hands,  and  truth  and  justice  flourish  apace,  is  the  earnest  desire  and  prayer  of  Muncy 
township.  Signed  by  William  Hei^burn,  John  Coats,  Israel  Parshall,  Nathaniel  Barber,  James 
Hinds,  James  Hepburn,  Robert  Covenhoven,  Albert  Covenhoven,  Joseph  Sutton,  David  Benja- 
min, .Jonathan  Benjamin,  Onina  Voorhees,  John  Stryker,  Barent  Stryker,  John  Strayker, 
Richard  Hall,  .Jacob  Houck,  John  Buckalow,  .James  Hampton,  Thomas  Newman,  Sr.,  Joseph 
Newman,  Daniel  Ferine,  Cornelius  Low,  Sr.,  Samuel  Gordon,  Cornelius  Low,  Peter  Stryker, 
John  Hall,  John  Covenhoven. 

The  return  of  this  election,  held  August  16,  1777,  is  signed  by  John  Coats  as 
inspector,  and  Joseph  Newman  and  William  Hammond  as  judges.  The  petition 
referred  to  shows  that  the  first  election  was  held  April  25,  1777,  and  the  petitioners 
claimed  that  the  opposition  which  they  encountered  was  "  by  a  small  body  of  men 
who  combined  together  at  the  apparent  instigation  of  a  reputed  Tory,  and  held  a 
separate  election  in  opposition  to  ours  under  pretence  of  being  landed  freeholders. " 
In  the  last  election  the  memorialists  state  that  they  allowed  no  one  to  vote  "  who 
had  not  taken  and  subscribed  to  the  oath  of  allegiance;"  whereas,  "on  the  other 
hand  the  promoters  and  supporters  of  the  opposition  are  chiefly  persons  who  have 
either  refused  or  hitherto  neglected  to  swear  allegiance  to  the  States,  and  may  yet 
make  a  tool  of  one  who  bears  the  mask  of  a  Whig  to  support  their  cause,  which  they 
could  not  with  so  good  a  grace  do  themselves. ' ' 

This  petition,  which  contains  more  signers  than  the  one  copied,  is  dated  "  Muncy 

112  HISTORY    OF    LTCOillXG    COUNTY. 

township,  August  21,  1777."  The  name  of  Amariah  Sutton  appears  on  it;  also 
"^'illiam  Snodgrass,  John  Thomson,  and  Daniel  Brown,  all  of  whom  were  soon  after- 
wards killed  by  the  Indians.  Peter  Smith,  the  unfortunate  man,  approved  of  it  by 
making  his  mark. 

The  above  petition  is  copied  from  a  time-stained  paper  containing  the  original 
autographs  of  the  signers,  just  £is  they  wrote  them  one  hundred  and  fifteen  years  ago. 
Andrew  Culbertson  lived  on  the  south  side  of  the  river,  within  what  are  now  the 
limits  of  the  borough  of  DiiBoistown,  and  llordecai  ]y!cKinney  resided  on  Money 
manor.  When  the  petitioners  speak  of  the  inconTenience  caused  by  "  waters,' '  they 
have  reference  to  Loyalsock  creek,  which,  when  swollen,  was  a  turbulent  stream  and 
dangerous  to  cross;  and  without  a  magistrate  at  the  upper  and  lower  end  of  the 
settlement,  they  would  be  subjected  to  great  "  inconveniences."  It  will  be  noticed 
that  the  Benjamin  family,  several  of  whom  figured  in  the  tragedy,  was  a  large  one. 

Eichard  and  John  Hall  were,  respectively,  the  great-grandfather  and  grandfather 
of  John  B.  Hall,  of  Williamsport.  They  were  of  English  origin  and  emigrated  from 
Xew  Jersey  before  the  Eevolation  and  located  above  the  mouth  of  Muncy  creek, 
and  assisted  Captain  John  Brady  to  build  his  palisade  fort,  and  when  he  raised  a 
company  of  volunteer  rangers  John  Hall  was  selected  his  orderly  sergeant.  Hall 
was  a  blacksmith  by  trade  and  was  the  only  smith  at  that  time  within  a  radius  of 
twenty  miles.  His  shop  stood  on  the  bank  of  the  river  opposite  Butler's  ripples,  at 
ilicheltree' s  Landing,  and  he  had  charge  of  the  ferry.  Both  Richard  and  John 
Hall,  father  and  son,  were  bui-ied  in  Hall's  graveyard. 

There  are  several  other  signers  who  were  prominent  here  during  and  after  the 
Eevolutionary  period,  notably  William  Hepburn.  Albert  Covenhoven  was  the  father 
of  Eobert  Covenhoven,  the  celebrated  scout  and  guide.  Descendants  of  the  Strykers 
live  in  WiUiamsport  to-day.  Nathaniel  Barber  was  one  of  the  early  settlers  at 

The  prayer  of  the  petitioners  was  granted,  for  the  records  show  that  commis- 
sions were  issued  to  Culbertson  and  McKinnev. 



The  Bloody  Period  Pkecedixg  the  "  Big  Rukaway  " — Taedixess  of  the  Cojouttke  op 
Safety  en  Fo^^^SHE^G  Abms — The  Ixdiaxs  Commexce  the  Work  of  Slaughter — 
Remarkable  Escape  of  Hamilton  ajst)  .Jacksox — Another  Attack — PorsTS  of  Cos- 
cextratios — Captaes  Berry's  Espeditiox — The  Wychoffs — Death  of  Johx  Thomsox, 


Company — Victims  a^sd  Scbvivors  of  the  Massacre. 

WE   come  now   to  the  most  bloody  and  discouraging  period  in  the  history  of 
what  is  the  iinest  and  most  beautiful  part  of  Lycoming  county — the  period 
preceding  what  is  known  in  history  as  the  "  Big  Runaway.  " 

The  winter  of  1777-78  was  a  distressing  one.     On  the  23d  of  December  a  man 


was  tomahawked  and  scalped  near  the  mouth  of  Pine  creek,  and  on  the  1st  of 
January  another  met  the  same  fate  above  the  Great  Island.  Under  date  of  January 
14,  1778,  Col.  Samuel  Hunter,  writing  from  Fort  Augusta  to  President  Wharton, 
informed  him  of  the  killiu'g  of  these  men,  and  said  that  it  had  caused  the  inhabitants 
to  collect  together  for  greater  safety.  Colonel  Antes  had  just  visited  him  to  consult 
as  to  what  was  beat  to  be  done.  Three  classes  of  Col.  Cookson  Long's  battalion 
were  ordered  out  immediately,  with  instructions  to  report  to  Colonel  Antes  for 
orders.  These  men  mostly  lived  on  the  West  Branch.  "  Colonel  Antes,"  remarks 
Colonel  Hunter,  "  is  an  excellent  woodsman,  and  will  use  all  means  to  come  up  with 
the  savages."  Colonel  Hunter  closed  his  letter  by  saying  that  the  majority  of  the 
inhabitants  "  did  not  think  it  prudent  to  let  any  [militia]  out  of  this  county  at  the 
present  call,  when  the  frontiers  are  likely  to  suffer  from  the  savage  enemy."  A 
party  of  Indians  numbering  eleven  were  seen  about  this  time  above  the  Great 
Island,  and,  as  they  evidently  were  bent  on  mischief,  they  were  pursued  by  Colonel 
Antes's  command.  A  light  snow  had  fallen  and  they  were  easily  tracked  and  soon 
overtaken.  In  a  slight  skirmish  which  followed  two  Indians  were  killed,  when  the 
remaining  nine  rapidly  fled. 

The  scarcity  of  arms  and  ammunition  was  one  of  the  greatest  dilficulties  under 
which  the  frontiersmen  labored,  and  yet  the  Executive  Council  was  constantly 
calling  for  militia  to  assist  at  the  front.  On  the  28th  of  March  Colonel  Hunter 
replied  to  President  Wharton  that  he  was  doing  all  he  could  to  aid  the  recruiting 
officers.  "  The  fifth  class  of  the  militia,"  he  observed,  "  was  on  the  frontier  under 
the  command  of  Colonel  Antes,"  who  was  the  only  field  officer  he  was  then  allowed 
until  the  sixth  and  seventh  classes  were  ordered  out.  "  If  they  are  to  be  stationed  on 
the  frontiers,"  he  continues,  "  we  shall  be  badly  off  for  arms  to  accommodate  three 
classes  at  one  time,  for  in  case  the  Indians  have  any  intention  of  committing  hostil- 
ities it  will  be  very  soon,  as  the  snow  is  partly  all  gone."  He  also  reminded 
President  Wharton  that  when  he  was  last  in  Philadelphia  he  had  ''  endeavored  to 
purchase  some  good  guns,  but  could  get  none  that  were  worth  buying.  Only  two 
rifles  and  sixty  ordinary  muskets  we  had  made  for  this  county,  are  all  that  we  have 
of  public  arms. ' '  In  order  to  do  the  best  he  could  under  the  discouraging  circum- 
stances he  ordered  all  the  old  and  broken  guns  repaired. 

The  fifth  class  of  militia,  as  they  were  called,  were  only  to  serve  two  months,  and 
as  soon  as  their  time  expired  the  sixth  class  was  expected  to  relieve  them.  The 
inhabitants  complained  that  if  no  troops  were  stationed  above  Muncy  they  would  be 
obliged  to  abandon  their  homes  and  go  down  the  river,  which  would  break  up  the 
settlements  and  leave  the  country  to  the  mercy  of  the  enemy.  On  the  5th  of  May 
Colonel  Hunter  informed  President  Wharton  that  he  "  would  have  ordered  out  the 
sixth  class  to  relieve  the  fifth,"  but  he  could  find  no  meat  for  their  subsistence.  He 
could  not  have  subsisted  the  fifth  class,  "  only  for  some  beef  and  pork  bought  by 
Col.  Hugh  White  for  the  Continental  stores,  and  when  that  was  done  there  was  no 
more  to  be  had  to  buy  in  this  county."  And  as  for  flour  there  was  not  enough  to  be 
had  to  serve  the  sixth  class  for  two  months.  The  condition  of  the  people  was  truly 

A  party  of  Indians  penetrated  Buffalo  valley  and  secured  a  large  amount  of  plun- 
der.    They  were  pursued  by  Lieut.  Moses  Van  Campen  and  a  small  party  of  men 


across  Bald  Eagle  moiintain,  who,  overtaking  them  at  a  large  spring  on  the  side  hill 
near  Jersey  Shore,  recovered  much  of  the  stolen  goods.  Where  they  were  overtaken 
is  probably  what  was  afterwards  known  as  Pfouts's  spring,  near  the  present  ceme- 

The  outlook  became  so  threatening  that  in  this  month  (May)  the  sixth  and  seventh 
classes  of  Col.  Cookson  Long's  battalion  were  ordered  by  Colonel  Hunter  to  be  con- 
solidated and  scout  along  the  frontier  until  the  sixth  and  seventh  classes  of  Colonels 
Murray  and  Hosterman  should  arrive  at  the  Great  Island  to  cover  that  portion  of  the 
county.  The  Indians  were  now  fairly  on  the  war  path  and  butcheries  became 
more  frequent.  On  the  16th  of  May,  near  the  mouth  of  Bald  Eagle  creek,  three 
men,  while  engaged  in  planting  corn,  were  attacked,  killed,  and  scalped.  Two  days 
subsequently,  near  Pine  creek,  a  man,  woman,  and  child  were  taken  prisoners,  prob- 
ably by  the  same  party.  On  the  20th  two  men,  seven  women,  and  several  children 
were  captured. 


A  few  days  after  this,  three  families  aggregating  sixteen  persons,  great  and 
small,  were  attacked  on  Loyalsock.  How  many  were  killed  is  not  positively  known, 
but  a  party  of  armed  men  who  soon  afterwards  visited  the  place,  reported  finding 
only  two  bodies,  which  leads  to  the  conclusion  that  the  balance  were  carried  away, 
as  prisoners.  Just  where  they  lived  is  not  known,  but  it  could  not  have  been  far 
up  the  creek,  as  few  settlers  at  that  time  had  ventured  any  distance  above  Montours- 
ville.  Their  cabins  were  reduced  to  ashes  and  everything  about  the  premises 
destroyed.  The  Indians  were  bent  on  a  war  of  extermination,  and  whenever  they 
were  not  too  closely  pressed,  they  left  nothing  but  ruin  behind  them. 

About  this  time  the  house  of  Andrew  Armstrong,  who  had  settled  at  the  "  big 
spring,"  a  short  distance  east  of  the  present  village  of  Linden,  was  visited  by  a 
party  of  Indians.  They  came  suddenly  and  stealthily.  Mrs.  Armstrong,  who  first 
discovered  them,  slipped  under  the  bed.  They  entered  the  house,  seized  Armstrong, 
his  little  son,  a  woman  named  Nancy  Bunday,  and  hurriedly  departed.  Armstrong 
called  to  his  wife  to  lie  still,  which  she  did,  and  escaped.  They  were  in  such  a 
hurry,  on  account  of  a  small  body  of  armed  whites  being  near,  that  they  neither  ran- 
sacked the  house  nor  fired  it.  They  turned  up  the  creek,  and  when  Mrs.  Armstrong 
crawled  from  her  hiding  place  and  peered  through  the  window  she  saw  her  husband 
and  little  son  disappear  in  the  forest.  Years  rolled  away  and  no  tidings  came  from 
Andrew  Armstrong.  No  doubt  he  had  been  cruelly  murdered  in  the  wilderness. 
The  little  son  was  also  given  up,  when,  one  day  long  after  peace  had  been  restored, 
an  aged  Indian  with  a  young  man  by  his  side  knocked  at  the  cottage  door  of  Mrs. 
Armstrong.  From  his  appearance  there  was  white  blood  in  his  vieus.  The  old 
Indian  asserted  that  the  young  man  had  been  carried  away  when  very  small  and 
reared  among  his  people.  But  he  partook  so  much  of  the  appearance  and  character 
of  an  Indian  that  she  could  not  recognize  him  as  her  son.  He  remained  with  her 
some  time,  but  having  all  the  manners,  customs,  and  actions  of  an  Indian,  he  did  not 
readily  take  to  the  ways  of  civilized  life,  and  finally  returned  to  those  with  whom  he 
had  been  reared.  He  might  have  been  her  son,  but  she  could  detect  nothing  about 
him  to  convince  her  that  he  was.      He  never  returned. 

Mannn  f-jitisliinj  8=Enoravtnp  C5JS.Y: 




Small  bodies  of  savages  were  constantly  seeking  for  victims,  and  it  was  dangerous 
for  any  one  to  go  any  distance  from  protection.  Near  the  close  of  May  a  thrilling 
incident  occurred  on  the  river  below  the  mouth  of  Pine  creek.  A  party  of  four  men, 
composed  of  Eobert  Fleming,  Eobert  Donaldson,  James  lIcMichael,  and  John  Ham- 
ilton, came  down  the  river  in  a  canoe  to  Antes  Fort,  from  Horn's  Fort,  to  obtain  a 
tiat-boat.  This  latter  fort  was  situated  on  a  bluif  on  the  south  side  of  the  river  a 
short  distance  west  of  the  present  village  of  Pine,  in  Clinton  county,  and  several 
families  were  collected  there  for  safety.  They  wanted  the  boat  to  assist  in  trans- 
porting their  families  down  the  river,  as  the  danger  on  the  frontier  was  too  great  for 
them  to  remain  any  longer.  Having  secured  the  flat  boat  two  of  the  party  started 
back  in  their  canoe,  while  the  other  two  were  to  follow  with  the  boat.  The  canoe 
party  passed  through  Pine  creek  ripples,  when  they  paddled  over  to  the  south  shore 
for  the  purpose  of  waiting  for  their  comrades  in  the  flat,  who  were  slowly  poling  up 
the  river.  As  they  were  ia  the  act  of  landing  they  were  fired  on  by  a  body  of 
Indians  concealed  in  the  bushes  on  the  shore.  Donaldson  jumped  out  of  the  canoe, 
fired,  and  cried  out  to  the  others,  "Come  on!"  Hamilton,  who  was  with  him  in  the 
-canoe,  saw  the  Indians  rise  from  their  place  of  concealment,  and  at  the  same  time  he 
noticed  the  blood  spurting  from  Donaldson's  back  as  he  was  trying  to  reload  his  gun- 
Taking  in  the  situation  at  a  glance,  Hamilton  saw  the  futility  of  attempting  resist- 
ance, and  quickly  shoving  the  canoe  from  the  shore,  jumped  into  the  water,  and 
keeping  it  between  himself  and  the  Indians,  held  on  with  one  hand,  while  with  the 
other  he  worked  it  across  the  river.  Several  shots  were  fired,  and  the  bullets  flew 
around  him  lively  for  a  few  minutes,  but  he  ipanaged  to  reach  the  north  shore  with- 
out receiving  a  scratch.  His  escape  was  remarkable.  When  he  clambered  up  the 
bank  his  woolen  clothes  were  so  heavy,  from  being  saturated  with  water,  that  he 
could  make  but  slow  headway.  As  soon  as  he  was  beyond  the  range  of  the  Indian 
bullets,  he  quickly  divested  himself  of  all  clothing  but  his  shirt,  and  started  on  a  run 
up  the  river.  Crossing  Pine  creek  he  dashed  up  a  path  which  led  through  the 
open  ground  above  the  creek.  He  ran  for  dear  life  for  about  three  miles,  or  until  he 
came  opposite  Horn's  Fort.  On  giving  the  alarm  a  canoe  was  sent  to  bring  him 
over.  The  tradition  which  has  been  preserved  of  this  exciting  incident  says  that  he 
was  badly  frightened  and  almost  exhausted  when  his  rescuers  reached  him. 

On  hearing  the  firing  McMichael,  Fleming,  and  a  young  man  named  James  Jack- 
son, who  where  on  the  flat-boat,  and  some  distance  behind,  pushed  quickly  to  the 
north  shore,  but  before  they  could  get  out  of  range  the  first  two  were  killed. 
Jackson  escaped,  and  finding  a  horse  in  the  pasture  west  of  Pine  creek,  caught  it, 
mounted,  and  rode  to  the  settlement  opposite  the  fort,  when  a  party  came  over  and 
rescued  him. 

A  party  was  at  once  organized  and  sent  down  the  river  to  look  for  the  Indians, 
but  they  could  not  be  found.  Being  in  the  vicinity  of  two  forts,  and  knowing  that 
they  would  be  pursued,  they  very  likely  dashed  up  the  ravine  through  which 
Aughanbaugh' s  run  flows  to  the  river  and  escaped.  The  pursuing  party  found  the 
dead  bodies  of  Donaldson,  Fleming,  and  ilcilichael  where  they  fell,  and  canied 
them  to  Antes  Fort.  They  were  buried  in  the  little  cemetery  near  the  fort.  This 
sad  affair  cast  a  gloom  over  the  families  congregated  at  both  forts  and  they  all 
heartUy  wished  for  deliverance  to  a  place  of  greater  safety. 

116  HI8T0BY    OF    LYCOMING    COUNTY. 

John  Hamilton,  who  made  such  a  narrow  escape,  was  only  about  sixteen  years  of 
age,  and  was  looked  upon  as  the  most  nimble  footed  youth  in  the  settlement.  He  was 
the  elder  brother  of  Eobert  Hamilton,  who  became  the  father  of  John  Hamilton, 
who  was  born  October  14,  1800,  and  died  April  24,  1891. 

The  same  day  of  this  bloody  occurrence  a  number  of  men  were  driving  a  lot  of 
cattle  down  the  river  from  a  point  above  the  Great  Island,  for  the  purpose  of  plac- 
ing them  out  of  reach  of  the  hostiles.  As  they  were  crossing  the  level  country 
near  where  Liberty  stands  they  were  fired  on  by  a  party  of  Indians  who  had  been 
pursuing  them.  The  whites  returned  the  fire  and  an  Indian  was  observed  to  fall.  His 
comrades  promptly  carried  him  off.  One  of  the  cattle  party  named  Samuel  Flem- 
ing was  shot  through  the  shoulder.  The  Indians  fled  precipitately  and  abandoned 
a  lot  of  plunder  which  they  had  stolen  from  some  of  the  settlers.  It  consisted 
largely  of  blankets,  which  were  secured  by  the  whites. 

These  repeated  attacks  of  the  Indians  had  the  eifect  of  rousing  the  Executive 
Coxtncil  to  a  realization  of  the  great  danger  which  threatened  the  frontier,  and  on 
the  21st  of  May  a  letter  was  forwarded  to  Colonel  Hunter  from  Lancaster  in  answer 
to  his  repeated  appeals  for  help.  It  set  out  by  saying  that  "it  gave  the  Council 
great  pain  to  find  that  the  Indians  had  begun  their  horrid  ravages,"  and  that  "  one 
hundred  fire  arms  of  which  thirty-one  are  rifles,"  had  been  procured  and  forwarded 
to  Harris's  Ferry,"  and  besides  this  lot  "seventy  rifles  had  been  obtained  from  the 
Continental  store, ' '  and  would  be  sent  to  the  same  destination  for  use  of  the  inhabi- 
tants up  the  river.  The  Board  of  War  had  also  ordered  "  one  ton  of  lead  and  half 
a  ton  of  powder  to  Carlisle,"  one-fourth  of  which  was  for  the  West  Branch  country. 

CouncU  admitted  its  belief  that  the  attack  of  the  savages  was  instigated  by  "our 
European  [English]  enemy,  who  avow  in  the  face  of  the  world  the  employment  of 
such  horried  allies.  It  is  manifestly  made  in  concert  with  the  invaders  of  the  east- 
ern side  of  our  State."  "Beyond  all  doubt  then,"  continues  the  letter,  "Pennsyl- 
vania has  a  claim  to  be  supported  by  the  force  and  money  of  the  United  States. 
Council  and  Assembly  have  therefore  in  a  joint  representation  to  Congress  set  forth 
the  case  of  our  suffering  settlers,  and  demanded  the  aid  and  protection  necessary," 
Had  the  appeals  been  heeded  ere  this  and  steps  taken  to  properly  protect  the  fron- 
tier the  great  calamity  which  overtook  the  settlers  might  have  been  averted  and 
many  lives  and  much  property  saved. 

Council  stated  that  as  they  experienced  much  difficulty  in  ' '  victualing  the  militia 
of  Northumberland  county,"  they  had  requested  the  "  delegation  of  Pennsylvania  to 
apply  for  proper  and  adequate  supplies  of  food  and  stores  for  use  in  the  immediate 
defence  of  the  county."  The  Board  of  War  asked  General  Washington  "to  send 
Colonel  Butler  and  at  least  250  riflemen  from  the  army  as  an  immediate  succor  to  the 
militia  against  the  Indians."  This  aid,  though  small,  the  Committee  feared  might 
be  precarious,  as  they  did  not  know  what  the  British  contemplated  doing,  and  Wash- 
ington "  might  not  be  hasty  in  sending  off  this  detachment."  Colonel  Hunter  was 
assured,  however,  that  everything  possible  would  be  done  to  assist  him,  and  he  was 
authorized  to  use  any  of  the  cannon  at  Fort  Augusta  for  defending  other  places. 


Months  before  any  decisive  measures  had  been  adopted  by  the  Supreme  Executive 


Council  and  the  Board  of  War,  the  inhabitants  had  formed  some  plans  for  their 
protection.  A  movement  of  this  kind  was  imperative.  Stockades  were  placed  around 
buildings  at  certain  places  where  families  could  concentrate  in  case  of  great  danger. 
Capt.  John  Brady  had  enclosed  his  building  on  Muncy  manor  with  stockades,  and 
it  was  known  as  "  Fort  Brady."  The  records  of  the  time  contain  no  description  of 
the  work,  but  according  to  tradition  it  was  quite  strong  and  many  families  in  the  ' 
valley  fled  to  it  for  protection. 

Wallis's  residence  on  Muncy  Farms  was  an  important  point  for  concentration, 
and  efforts  were  made  early  to  have  a  defensive  work  erected,  but  it  was  not  done 
until  after  the  first  heavy  blow  had  fallen.  It  is  probable  that  some  kind  of  tempo- 
rary works  were  hastily  improvised,  for  we  hear  of  a  number  of  families  being  col- 
lected there  some  time  before  the  exodus. 

It  is  also  said  that  there  were  some   defensive  works  at  the  house  of  Samuel 
Harris,  on  the  west  side  of  Loyalsock  creek,  as  families  fled  there.     There  appears  . 
to  ha'^e  been  a  number  of  settlers  in  that  vicinity,  which  early  attracted  the  attention 
of  marauding  bands  of  Indians. 

Then  came  the  places  of  refuge  at  Lycoming  creek  and  Antes  Fort,  already 
described.  Fort  Horn  and  Heed's  Fort  were  the  last.  The  latter,  as  has  been 
shown,  stood  on  the  site  of  Lock  Haven  and  was  the  outpost  of  civilization  in  that 

Among  the  New  Jersey  settlers  near  the  mouth  of  Loyalsock  creek  was  Albert 
Covenhoven  (corrupted  into  Crownover).  He  had  three  sons,  James,  Thomas,  and 
Robert,  and  a  daughter,  Isabella.  Robert  became  distinguished  as  a  guide,  spy,  and 
Indian  killer.  Soon  after  coming  to  the  valley  Albert  Covenhoven  lost  all  his  effects 
by  a  sudden  freshet  in  the  creek,  and  the  family  were  reduced  to  great  distress.  On 
the  breaking  out  of  the  Revolution  Robert  joined  the  Continental  army,  but  late  in 
1777  he  returned  home  on  account  of  the  expiration  of  his  enlistment  and  at  once 
took  an  active  part  in  aiding  to  protect  the  frontier.  The  neighbors  of  the  Coven- 
hovens  were  the  Thomsons,  WychofPs,  Van  Camps,  Van  Nests,  etc.  All  of  these,  save 
the  first  mentioned,  were  of  Hollandish  descent.  John  Thomson  was  a  Scotchman. 
When  he  came  to  America  he  brought  with  him  a  small  Bible  printed  at  Edinburgh 
in  1735.  He  married  Juda  Bodine  in  New  Jersey  and  recorded  the  dates  of  birth 
of  himself  and  his  wife,  and,  afterwards,  that  of  their  child.  On  reaching  the  West 
Branch  valley  Thomson  located  about  a  mile  west  of  Loyalsock  creek  on  the  Sheshe- 
quin  path,  up  Miller's  run,  less  than  a  mile  north  of  the  place  where  that  path  was 
crossed  by  the  trail  leading  up  the  river.  He  built  his  house  and  barn  on  the  edge 
of  the  upland,  whose  watershed  produced  the  terrible  swamp  lying  between  it  and 
the  river.  When  the  first  alarm  was  given  Thomson  took  his  wife  and  child,  and 
such  goods  as  they  could  carry,  and  fled  to  Wallis's  on  horseback,  seven  miles  away. 
His  harvest  was  about  ripe  and  the  promise  of  a  good  crop  was  excellent.  There 
they  found  several  of  their  neighbors  who  had  preceded  them.  Col.  William  Hep- 
burn was  there  and  had  command.  Colonel  Hosterman,  Captain  Berry,  Captain 
Reynolds  and  others  who  had  just  been  sent  from  Fort  Augusta  to  assist  in  protect- 
ing the  frontier  were  there  also.      It  was  a  motley  and  excited  collection. 

CAPTAIN    berry's    EXPEDITION. 

Peter  Wychoff  settled  oq  Mill  creek,  just  above  the  place  where  it  empties  into 


Loyalsock,  and  about  a  mile  northeasterly  from  Thomson's.  A  number  of  horses 
having  been  stolen,  Captain  Berry,  with  a  company,  .set  out  for  Loyalsock  on  the 
10th  of  June,  1778,  to  look  for  them.  William  Wychoff,  son  of  Peter,  his  brother 
"William,  and  his  sons,  Cornelius  and  Joseph,  were  along.  So  were  their  cousins, 
James  and  Thomas  Covenhoven,  and  perhaps  others  of  their  relatives.  Besides 
tljese  there  was  a  friendly  Indian,  known  as  "Captain  Sharpshins,"  a  negro,  and 
others  to  the  number  of  twelve.  After  starting  a  messenger  was  sent  after  them  to 
advise  an  immediate  return.  The  messenger  was  Kobert  Covenhoven.  But  Captain 
Berry  refused  to  acknowledge  Colonel  Hepburn's  authority,  and  persisted  in  going 
forward.  As  so  many  of  his  relatives  were  in  the  expedition,  Eobert  Covenhoven 
determined  to  go  along  as  guide.  The  company  proceeded  cautiously  through  the 
Xarrows,  and  so  on  up  the  creek,  searching  in  vain  for  the  horses,  until  they  thought 
they  had  gone  far  enough.  They  then  determined  to  retrace  their  steps,  and 
accordingly  set  out  again  down  the  creek.  Robert  Covenhoven  believed  that  there 
were  Indians  in  the  vicinity,  and  advised  a  return  by  a  safer,  but  more  difficult, 
route  through  the  woods,  and  over  the  nioimtain,  in  order  tot  avoid  the  danger  of  an 
ambuscade.  But  Captain  Berry  thought  there  was  no  danger,  and  paid  little  atten- 
tion to  his  warning.  He  insisted  until  Berry  impatiently  said  he  was  needlessly 
alarmed,  and  accused  him  of  cowardice.  This  irritated  him,  and  he  insisted  no 
more.  He  went  privately,  however,  to  his  brothers  and  communicated  to  them  his 
fears  that  they  would  be  attacked,  and  that  if  so  they  would  probably  all  be  killed. 
He  urged  them  to  keep  a  sharp  outlook,  and  if  the  flash  of  a  gun  was  seen,  to  spring 
immediately  behind  a  tree. 

They  traveled  on  without  molestation  until  they  again  reached  the  Narrows,  a 
mile  above  the  present  bridge  across  Loyalsock,  where  they  were  suddenly  fired 
upon  by  a  band  of  savages  in  ambush.  Most  of  the  party,  including  the  reckless 
Captain  Berry,  were  shot  down.  Robert  Covenhoven,  however,  and  a  few  others 
escaped  and  returned  to  Wallis's  place  and  reported  the  fate  of  the  expedition. 
Night  was  approaching,  but  Colonel  Hepburn  at  once  set  out  with  a  party  to  rescue 
any  other  fugitives  that  might  be  in  the  vicinity  of  Loyalsock  creek. 

It  was  learned  that  Thomas  Covenhoven,  Peter  Wychoff,  his  son,  Cornelius,  and 
the  negro,  were  made  prisoners.  The  negro  was  afterwards  burned  at  the  stake  in 
the  presence  of  the  other  prisoners,  who  did  not  know  but  what  they  would  meet  the 
same  fate.  But  they  suffered  only  the  privations  and  distresses  incident  to  the  con- 
dition of  captives  among  savages. 


Peter  Wychoff  was  fifty-four  years  of  age  when  captured  and  his  hair  was  white. 
The  Indians,  however,  dyed  it  black  and  dressed  him  in  their  own  costume  so  that 
he  should  not  be  easily  recognized.  This  story  was  magnified  by  repetition  into 
the  statement  in  Day's  Historical  Collections,  page  455,  that  he  was  bald  when 
captured,  and  on  his  return  had  a  fine  head  of  hair  I  Both  he  and  his  son, 
CorneKus,  remained  in  captivity  about  two  years.  Joseph  Wychoff,  another  son, 
was  captured  at  the  same  time.  While  a  prisoner  in  Canada  he  became  acquainted 
with  Keziah  Ford,  also  a  captive  from  Kentucky,  and  they  were  married  by  Father 
De  Lisle,  of  Montreal.  Their  marriage  certificate  is  still  preserved  by  their 


Joseph  Wyehoff  had  taken  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  Common-wealth  of 
Pennsylvania,  July  30,  1777,  in  Northumberland  county,  and  was  appointed 
lieutenant  of  the  Third  Company  of  the  Third  Battalion  of  Militia,  April  24,  1785. 
His  commission  was  issued  by  the  Supreme  Executive  Council. 

After  their  release  from  captivity,  Peter  Wyehoff  and  his  son,  William,  returned 
to  New  Jersey  and  remained  there  till  the  war  was  over,  when  they  came  back  to 
their  place  on  the  Loyalsock  and  erected  a  house  on  the  old  site.  In  a  short  time 
his  wife  and  younger  children,   who  had  fled  to  New  Jersey,  returned  also. 

The  family  of  the  Wychoffs  was  a  large  one,  and  they  suffered  greatly  at  the 
hands  of  the  savages.  William  Wyehoff,  the  brother  of  Peter,  went  "with  him 
from  New  Jersey  when  they  first  emigrated  to  the  West  Branch.  He  was  the  "  old 
man  Wyehoff,"  spoken  of  in  some  of  the  early  accounts,  who  had  a  rude  tannery 
on  the  Loyalsock  and  made  leather  for  the  settlement  before  the  war  broke  out. 
Near  the  time  of  the  affair  just  described  he  was  at  work  in  his  tannery,  and  his 
nephews,  the  Covenhoven  brothers,  were  mowing  grass  in  an  adjacent  meadow.  A 
dog  suddenly  commenced  barking  and  exhibited  great  symptoms  of  alarm.  He 
would  run  towards  the  woods,  sniff  the  air,  and  return.  The  Covenhovens  were 
confident  that  Indians  were  near,  and,  seizing  their  rifles,  called  to  the  old  man  to 
accompany  them  to  some  place  of  greater  security.  At  first  he  refused,  alleging 
that  there  was  no  danger,  but  at  last  yielded  to  their  persuasions  and  went  with 
them.  They  had  proceeded  but  a  short  distance  when  one  of  them  hissed  to  the 
dog,  and  he  at  once  bounded  into  the  bushes  and  seized  an  Indian  by  the  leg,  who 
was  hiding  there.  He  jumped  up  and  shot  the  dog.  The  whites,  who  were  six  in 
number,  immediately  took  to  trees.  The  Indians,  who  had  been  lying  in  ambush, 
did  the  same,  and  fixing  began.  "Old  man  Wyehoff,"  who  was  very  much  hump- 
backed, unfortunately  got  behind  a  tree  which  was  too  small  to  hide  all  of  his  person. 
Another  small  tree,  fortunately,  stood  between  him  and  the  Indians,  and  as  they 
fired  at  him  their  bullets  struck  this  tree  and  caused  the  bark  to  fly  around  Robert 
Covenhoven,  who  stood  behind  another  tree  near  by.  He  called  to  Peter  to  stand 
up  straight  or  he  would  be  hit.  As  Eobert  was  loading  his  rifle  his  ramrod  was 
shot  in  two,  but  luckily  he  had  a  "wiper"  with  which  he  rammed  down  the  bullet. 
Just  at  this  moment  he  observed  an  Indian  steadily  creeping  round  to  get  a  shot  at 
the  old  man.  Watching  him  closely,  till  he  attempted  to  crawl  over  a  log,  he  fired 
and  shot  him  through  the  body.  He  sprang  into  the  air,  gave  a  loud  whoop,  and 
fell.  His  comrades  rushed  up  and  bore  him  away,  when  the  whites  retreated  as 
rapidly  as  possible.  He  appeared  to  be  a  chief  or  commander  of  the  party.  Had 
Covenhoven  not  succeeded  in  hitting  him  the  whites  might  have  been  worsted. 


When  the  party  under  Captain  Berry  set  out  from  Wallis's  to  look  for  stolen 
horses,  John  Thomson  began  to  regret  that  he  had  so  hurriedly  left  his  place  a  short 
time  before,  and  he  determined  to  return  and  bring  off  his  cattle.  The  day  was 
rainy.  At  last  Thomson  found  two  men  who  were  willing  to  accompany  him  and 
assist  in  driving  the  cattle.  One  was  named  Peter  Shuf elt,  a  New  Jersey  man ;  the 
other  was  William  Wyehoff,  a  lad  of  sixteen.  They  were  mounted  and  followed 
Captain  Berry"s  party  to  the  crossing  of  tlie  Loyalsock,  when  they  left  them  and 

120  HISTOEY    OF    LYCOillXG    COCSTY. 

proceeded  over  the  hills  to  the  Thomsoa  improvement  and  residence.  Thomson 
foTind  eTervthing  apparently  as  he  and  his  wife  had  left  it.  Xothing  had  been  dis- 
turbed. They  tied  their  horses  near  the  door  and  entered  the  It  was  now 
long  past  noon  and  they  were  hungry,  and  at  once  set  about  preparing  their 

Suddenly  the  horses  snorted  with  alarm,  and  rushing  to  the  door  they  saw  sev- 
eral Indians  approaching  from  the  barn,  where  they  had  been  lying  in  ambush. 
Thom^son  and  his  companions  seized  their  guns  and  made  a  dash  for  the  woods; 
but  the  Indians  rushed  upon  them,  firing  as  they  came,  and  Peter  Shufelt  was  mor- 
tally wounded.  Thomson  stopped  and  returned  the  fire.  But  this  heroic  effort  to 
save  his  friend  cost  him  his  own  life.  Some  of  the  Indians  had  reserved  their  fire 
for  just  this  opportunity,  and  now  delivered  it  with  fatal  effect.  A  bullet  passed 
through  his  powder  horn,  which  btimed  at  his  side  as  he  lay  in  the  agonies  of  death. 
WUliam  Wychoff  succeeded  in  reaching  the  woods,  but  was  severely  wounded,  and 
finally  captured  at  the  end  of  a  sMrmish  which  had  lasted  nearly  three-quarters  of  an 
hour.  The  bodies  of  the  men  were  at  once  thrown  out  of  sight,  in  the  hope  that 
others  following  might  fall  into  the  same  ambuscade.  But  this  hope  was  not  real- 
ized, for  a  rescue  party  larger  than  tie  Indians  were  willing  to  engage  was  close  at 
hand.  They  had  fired  the  barn,  but  did  not  have  time  to  apply  the  torch  to  the 
house,  when  they  were  forced  to  fly  with  their  prisoner. 

After  Captain  Berry  had  started  from  Wallis's  that  morning  to  look  for  the 
stolen  horses.  Colonel  Hosterman,  with  Captain  Eeynolds  and  a  party  of  thirteen 
men,  set  out  for  Antes  Fort  with  ammtmition  for  that  place  and  the  militia  stationed 
at  the  Great  Island.  They  followed  the  public  road  and  crossed  Loyalsock  creek 
between  2  and  3  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  and  as  they  reached  the  western 
shore  and  passed  over  the  ''sand  hill"  they  heard  firing  and  yells  which  they 
judged  to  be  about  three-fourths  of  a  mile  up  the  creek.  They  hurried  up  to  the 
place  where  they  thought  the  firing  was,  but  found  nothing.  Surmising  that. the 
firing  might  have  been  at  Thomson"  s,  they  returned  and  pushed  on  thither  as  rap- 
idly as  they  could  across  the  northern,  or  upper,  end  of  the  great  swamp.  The 
heavy  rains  had  made  it  "very  ugly,'"  and  it  took  them  nearly  a  quarter  of  an  hour 
to  cross  it.      Thtis  they  arrived  too  late  to  be  of  service. 

The  wily  foe  no  doubt  knew  of  their  approacli.  "When  they  reached  tbe  place 
they  found  the  bam  with  its  store  of  unthreshed  grain  from  the  previous  harvest 
on  fire,  and  heard  in  the  distance  the  triumphant  shouts  of  the  foe.  Two  of  these 
shouts  they  recognized  as  "  death  halloos,"  and  one  they  correctly  took  to  be  a 
"  prisoner  halloo. "  From  the  shouts  Colonel  Hosterman  supposed  the  party  to 
consist  of  about  fourteen.  This  was  a  very  close  guess  as  subsequent  information 
proved.  There  was  a  Tory  with  the  savages,  for  Captain  Reynolds  and  his  men 
distinctly  saw  his  shoe  tracks,  along  with  the  moccasin  tracks  of  the  Indians,  in  the 
soft  ground  near  the  house.  A  search  of  the  premises  was  made.  Xear  the  house 
they  found  Thomson's  powder  horn,  with  the  bxdlet  hole  through  it,  but  did  not 
find  the  men  or  their  bodies.  Satisfied  that  they  could  be  of  no  further  service, 
Colonel  Hosterman  returned  to  Wallis'  s  and  wrote  out  a  report  of  the  events  of  the 
day.  Some  accounts  state  that  a  portion  of  the  party  pushed  on  to  Lycoming 
creek  that  evening,  where,  the  sequel  will  show,  they  were  greatly  needed. 


The  next  morning,  when  it  was  learned  that  the  companies  sent  ont  the  day 
before  had  not  all  returned,  there  was  great  uneasiness,  particularly  among  those  who 
had  friends  in  the  expeditions.  The  full  liews  evidently  was  withheld  by  Colonel 
Hosterman.  Another  party  of  men  was  got  together  under  Captaiu  Shaffer  and 
sent  to  search  for  the  missing.  When  they  came  to  Thomson's  they  made  a  thor- 
ough examination  of  the  house  and  premises.  At  last  the  dead  bodies  of  Thomson 
and  Shufelt  were  found  lying  a  short  distance  apart,  outside  a  cleared  field,  among 
some  pine  grubs,  where  they  had  been  dragged.  Thomson  had  been  shot  in  the  left 
side  and  his  jacket  was  scorched  by  the  burning  of  the  powder  in  his  horn.  Shufelt 
was  shot  through  the  left  shoulder.  It  is  not  stated  whether  they  were  scalped,  but 
it  is  very  likely  they  were,  as  the  English  paid  the  Indians  a  premium  for  scalps. 
The  place  of  burial  is  not  given,  but  they  probably  were  taken  to  Wallis's,  where 
their  friends  were,  and  buried  in  what  is  now  known  as  Hall's  cemetery. 

William  Wychoff,  who  was  captured  when  Thomson  and  Shufelt  were  killed, 
suffered  greatly  during  the  journey  through  the  wilderness  from  the  pain  of  his 
wound  and  the  exposure  to  which  he  was  subjected,  but  his  youthful  vigor 
triumphed,  and  eventually  he  recovered.  When  his  captors  reached  the  Seneca 
country  he  was  adopted  into  one  of  their  families,  according  to  Indian  custom,  to 
supply  the  place  of  one  who  has  been  killed  in  the  war.  His  life,  therefore,  became 
quite  tolerable,  and  in  the  autumn  of  the  same  year  he  was  exchanged  and  returned 
home.  June  17,  1786,  he  married  Eobert  Covenhoven's  sister,  Isabella,  then  nine- 
teen years  of  age.  He  was  nearly  twenty-five.  They  settled  near  Canandaigua, 
New  York,  on  land  whose  value  he  had  learned  during  his  six  months'  membership 
of  the  Seneca  family.  There  he  died,  April  2,  1847,  and  there  his  descendants  still 

The  death  of  John  Thomson  was  a  cruel  blow  to  his  wife  Juda.  Left  alone  in 
a  strange  land  filled  with  savages,  with  no  kin  but  her  boy,  then  but  six  years  old, 
her  lot  was  a  hard  one,  but  probably  no  worse  than  some  of  her  neighbors.  When  the 
flight  commenced  she  found  her  way  down  the  river  to  Sunbury.  How  long  she  re- 
mained there  is  not  known.  But  she  availed  herself  of  an  early  opportunity  to  set 
her  face  toward  the  home  of  her  youth.  Undoubtedly  she  traveled  with  others  over 
the  mountains.  Her  child  was  too  small  to  make  the  journey  on  foot,  and  too  large 
to  be  carried  in  arms.  The  horses  had  been  lost  the  day  of  her  husband's  cruel 
death.  "  But  mother-wit  is  quick  wit,  and  mother  love  a  love  which  overcomes  all 
obstacles."  She  succeeded  in  securing  a  little  cart  suitable  for  the  purpose,  and  in 
it  she  placed  her  child,  with  the  Bible,  which  had  been  her  husband's,  and  such 
light  articles  of  apparel  as  she  had  been  able  to  bring  with  her.  This  cart  she  pulled 
through  storm  and  sunshine,  250  miles,  over  the  mountains  and  across  the  streams, 
through  beech  woods  to  Easton,  and  then  over  the  Jersey  hills  to  her  former  home. 
Her  return  was  like  that  of  Naomi  from  the  land  of  Moab.  The  one  treasure  she 
still  possessed,  the  only  relic  rescued  from  the  destruction  of  her  home  by  the  red 
handed  heathen,  was  her  husband's  Bible.  It  is  still  in  existence  and  is  now  the 
property  of  Rev.  John  Bodine  Thomson,  D.  D.,  of  Inverness,  California,  a  gi'eat- 
grandson  of  the  six-year-old  boy.  It  contains  this  record,  among  others:  ''The  9th 
day  of  June,  1778,  John  Thomson  departed  this  life — was  killed  and  scalped  by  ye 
Tory  and  Indians  at  Shomoken."     The  New  Jersey  people  at  that  time  called  this 


valley  the  "Shomoken"  country,  which  explains  why  that  word  was  used  in  record- 
ing his  death — although  the  place  was  forty  miles  north  of  "Shomoken"   proper. 

John  Thomson,  Jr. ,  grew  to  manhood,  married,  and  raised  a  large  family.  He 
became  a  prominent  man,  and  for  more  than  thirty  years  was  justice  of  the  peace  and 
judge  of  the  Hunterdon  county  court;  and  during  the  latter  part  of  his  term  he  had 
the  satisfaction  of  recognizing  his  son,  Joseph,  as  one  of  the  judges  co-ordinate  with 
him  on  the  bench.  His  noble  mother,  who  braved  the  perils  of  the  wilderness  to 
save  him  from  the  savages,  died  June  17,  1796. 

Dr.  Thomson  thus  describes  the  old  Bible,  now  one  of  the  most  venerated  relies 
in  the  land,  because  of  its  remarkable  history  and  sonl-stirring  associations: 

Every  leaf  of  this  precious  book  is  water  stained,  probably  by  the  exposures  of  the 
memorable  journey  from  the  Susquehanna  to  the  Raritan.  The  old  calf  of  the  binding  isworu 
into  holes  by  long  use,  and  only  small  pieces  of  the  antique  clasps  remain,  imbedded  in  one 
side  of  the  thick  cover.  The  leaf  which  contains  the  family  record  is  becoming  brittle,  and 
begins  to  crumble  at  the  edges. 

After  the  death  of  the  last  member  of  the  family  who  had  lived  on  the  West 
Branch — John  Thomson,  Jr., — the  Bible  became  the  property  of  his  youngest  son^ 
Aaron.  By  him  it  was  in  after  years  given  to  that  one  of  the  descendants  who  bears 
the  names  of  all  three  of  the  residents  on  the  West  Brench — Rev.  John  Bodine 
Thomson.  And  in  pursuing  its  remarkable  history  a  little  further,  it  is  strange  to 
note  that  the  precious  relic  is  now  zealously  guarded  on  the  shores  of  the  Pacific, 
3,000  miles  from  the  place  where  its  original  owner  fell  by  savage  hands. 
The  exact  spot  where  his  house  stood  can  almost  be  pointed  out  to-day.  The  sur- 
rounding country  is  no  longer  a  wilderness,  the  great  swamp  has  disappeared,  and 
finely  cultivated  farms,  with  stately  buildings,  are  seen  on  every  hand.  Within 
sight  of  the  spot  where  the  blood  of  John  Thomson  crimsoned  the  ground  more 
than  a  hundred  years  ago,  the  tall  spires  of  the  churches  of  the  city  of  Williams- 
port  are  plainly  visible,  and  the  romantic  hillsides  are  dotted  with  the  cottages  of  a 
thrifty,  prosperous,  and  happy  people. 


With  the  recital  of  the  foregoing  horrors  the  reader  might  think  that  the  chap- 
ter was  full — that  enough  blood  had  been  shed  in  one  day  to  appease  the  savage 
appetite.  But  not  so.  June  10,  1778,  was  destined  to  be  the  bloodiest  day  in  the 
annals  of  our  history. 

Soon  after  the  disastrous  skirmish  on  Loyalsock  a  company  of  emigrants  travel- 
ing Ijy  wagon  appeared  at  the  Montoursville  crossing  of  that  stream.  The  names  of 
the  party,  as  given  by  Colonel  Hosterman  in  a  letter  to  Colonel  William  Winter, 
under  date  of  June  10,  1778,  and  written  from  Wallis's,  are  as  follows:  Peter  Smith, 
wife  and  six  children;  wife  of  William  King,  and  two  children;  Michael  Smith, 
Michael  Campbell,  and  David  Chambers,  who  belonged  to  Captain  Reynolds's  com- 
pany, and  two  other  men  named,  respectively,  Snodgrass  and  Hammond.  This  made 
the  company  consist  of  six  men,  two  women,  and  eight  children.  They  were  on 
their  way  to  Lycoming  creek.  Here  several  of  them  intended  to  join  relatives  and 
settle.  Mrs.  King  and  her  children  had  been  living  at  Northumberland.  Her  hus- 
band, William  King,  had  served  as  a  lieutenant  in  the  trouble  with  the  Connecticut 



settlers,  and  in  March,  1776,  as  an  ensign  in  the  company  of  his  cousin,  Captain 
Cool.  In  the  beg^inning  of  the  troubles  he  had  been  up  the  river,  and  as  early  as 
1774  he  had  settled  on  the  site  of  Jaysburg.  But  be  had  left  his  wife  Eachel  and 
two  daughters,  Sarah  and  Ruth,  at  Northumberland  for  greater  safety.  When  Peter 
Smith  decided  to  move  his  family  up  the  river  from  Northumberland  in  a 
wagon,  they  persuaded  Mrs.  King  to  accompany  them  with  their  two  children  to  join 
her  husband  at  Lycoming.  They  doubtless  argued  that  this  mode  of  traveling  would 
be  more  pleasant  than  to  ascend  the  river  in  a  canoe.  Her  husband  had  instructed 
her  to  remain  at  Northumberland  until  he  came;  but,  yielding  to  the  persuasions  of 
her  friends,  she  decided  to  accompany  them,  both  for  company  and  greater  conven- 
ience, as  she  supposed. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  after  the  company  of  Captain  Berry  fell  into  an  am- 
buscade, and  the  unfortunate  officer,  who  refused  to  take  any  advice  from  Robert 
Covenhoven,  lost  his  life,  that  a  party  vras  despatched  from  Wallis's  to  ascertain  the 
cause  of  firing  up  the  creek.  That  company  was  commanded  by  Captain  Reynolds 
and  consisted  of  thirteen  men.      Colonel  Hosterman  accompanied  them. 

When  Peter  Smith  with  his  wagon  and  party — several  of  whom  had  undoubtedly 
joined  him  at  Wallis's — reached  Loyalsock,  John  Harris,  (son  of  "old  Sam  Harris"  ) 
who  had  heard  the  firing  that  afternoon,  met  and  warned  them  not  to  proceed,  but 
to  return,  as  he  considered  it  dangerous  to  go  forward.  Smith  was  disinclined  to 
take  his  advice,  but  remarked  that  "  firing  would  not  stop  them,"  and  proceeded  on 
up  the  road.  When  they  had  got  within  a  short  distance  of  Lycoming  creek  they 
were  fired  upon  by  a  body  of  Indians  in  ambush.  Colonel  Hosterman  says  in  his 
report  that  at  the  first  fire  Snodgrass  fell  dead,  being  shot  through  the  temple.  At 
first  the  Indians  only  fired  two  guns,  then  three,  when  they  came  from  their  place  of 
concealment,  yelling  fiercely,  and  advanced  on  the  wagon.  The  whites  when  they 
saw  them — for  they  did  not  see  them  till  they  had  received  the  second  fire — took  to 
trees  and  returned  the  fire.  At  this  moment  a  "little  boy  and  a  girl"  made  off  and 
escaped.  The  Indians  closed  in  very  fast  and  endeavored  to  surround  the  party. 
"This,"  remarks  Colonel  Hosterman,  "occasioned  our  men  to  flee  as  fast  as  they 
could — all  but  Campbell,  who  was  seen  fighting  at  close  quarters  with  his  rifle,  and 
the  Indian's  gun  was  found  broken  to  pieces."  Before  they  were  out  of  sight  of  the 
wagon  the  fleeing  men  "  saw  the  Indians  attacking  the  women  and  children  with  their 
tomahawks!"  It  was  thought  there  were  about  twenty  Indians  in  the  attacking  par- 
iy,  showing  that  they  had  been  re-enforced  since  the  fight  on  Loyalsock. 

This  bloody  ailair  occurred  just  before  sundown.  The  boy  and  girl  made  their 
way  to  Lycoming  creek  and  informed  the  men  there  what  had  happened.  But 
owing  to  the  frightened  condition  of  the  children  their  story  was  misunderstood,  and 
the  persons  to  whom  they  gave  the  information  rushed  to  the  river,  thinking  that  a 
canoe  had  been  attacked.  On  account  of  this  mistake  much  valuable  time  was  lost. 
It  was  nearer  where  the  butchery  occurred  than  to  the  river. 

In  the  meantime  a  messenger  had  reached  Wallis  with  intelligence  of  something 
serious  having  occurred  near  Lycoming  creek,  and  Colonel  Hepburn,  who  had  charge 
at  the  fort,  quickly  collected  a  party  of  armed  men  and  hurried  to  the  place  where  the 
firing  had  been  heard.  It  was  some  time  after  dark  when  they  arrived,  but  they 
succeeded  in  finding  the  dead  bodies  of  Snodgrass  and  another  man,  but  owing  to  the 



darkness  they  could  not  tell  who  they  were.  Deeming  it  useless  to  search  any 
further  that  night,  they  went  on  to  Lycoming  creek  and  waited  till  next  day.  In 
the  morning  they  repaired  to  the  spot  and  a  horrible  sight  met  their  gaze.  The  wife 
of  Peter  Smith  was  found  shot  through  the  body,  stabbed,  scalped,  and  a  knife 
lying  by  her  side.  William  King's  wife  was  found  tomahawked  and  scalped,  but 
living.  She  was  sitting  up,  and  when  her  husband  approached  she  seemed  to  recog- 
nize him,  leaned  against  him,  and  almost  immediately  expired.  She  could  not 
speak.  A  little  girl  was  found  killed  and  scalped,  and  a  boy  the  same.  Snodgrass 
had  been  shot  through  the  head,  tomahawked,  stabbed,  and  scalped.  Campbell  was 
shot  in  the  back,  tomahawed,  stabbed,  scalped,  and  a  knife  left  sticking  in  his  body. 
His  rifle  was  taken,  but  very  few  things  in  the  wagon  had  been  carried  away.  The 
sight  of  these  mutilated  and  disfigured  bodies  was  hideous  to  behold,  and  showed  to 
what  extremes  of  savage  barbarism  the  red  fiends  could  go.  The  bodies  of  the  dead 
were  carefully  collected  and  buried  near  the  spot  where  they  fell,  and  their  interment 
was  very  likely  the  beginning  of  the  cemetery  which  afterwards  served  for  many 
years  as  the  place  of  interment  for  scores  of  the  original  settlers. 

Colonel  Hepburn's  party  found  a  coat  which  had  belonged  to  an  Indian,  and  a 
cartridge  made  of  the  best  cartridge  paper.  The  Indians  had  used  buckshot,  as  one 
was  found  sticking  in  the  wagon,  and  one  in  the  arm  of  one  of  the  slain.  These 
articles  it  was  clear  had  been  furnished  them  by  the  English,  who  were  encouraging 
them  to  commit  deeds  of  atrocity  calculated  to  make  an  ordinary  fiend  shudder. 


Colonel  Hepburn' s  company  of  militia  was  composed  of  the  following  residents 
of  the  valley,  from  Muncy  to  Lycoming  creek: 

Captain. — William  Hepburn. 

Lieutenant. — Paul  Bicketts. 

Ensign. — John  Hall. 

Sergeants. — Robert  Covenhoven,  Andrew  Flatt. 

Privates. — Joseph  Wychoff,  Israel  Parshall,  Jr.,  Joseph  Sutton,  Joseph  Harber, 
James  Covenhoven,  George  Barkley,  Benjamin  Bart,  David  Berry,  Oliver  Silver- 
thorn,  Samuel  Brady,  Samuel  Wallis,  John  Covenhoven,  Israel  Parshall,  Sr. , 
William  Hall,  Erasmus  Burch,  Peter  Burns,  Albert  Covenhoven,  Cornelius  Vanader, 
Robert  Robb,  Ezekiel  Brown,  Albert  Polhemus,  A.  Blackly,  Zachariah  Irech,  Charles 
Bignell,  Ralph  Slack,  Joseph  Webster,  Jacob  Lawrison,  Peter  Jones,  Ockey  Step- 
sion,  Nimrod  Pennington,  William  Jones,  Henry  Silverthorn,  John  HoUingsworth, 
Michael  Craell. 

In  signing  this  roster  Captain  Hepburn  says:  "The  above  is  a  true  return  of  the 
men's  names  belonging  to  my  company  that  are  not  gone  out  of  the  county. "  It  is 
dated  August  9,  1778,  and  addressed  to  Colonel  Hunter. 


This  terrible  massacre  occurred  at  the  point  where  West  Fourth  street,  Williams- 
port,  crosses  the  little  stream  which  flows  down  Cemetery  street.  At  that  time  a 
natural  thicket  of  wild  plum  trees  grew  there,  which  yielded  fruit  of  remarkable 
size  and  flavor  for  neaily  a  century  after  the  tragedy.       The  road  was  merely  a 


•widening  out  of  the  old  Indian  trail,  and  was  cut  through,  this  thicket.  The  boughs, 
with  the  leaves  dried  on  them,  were  thrown  into  the  bushes,  forming  a  safe  place  for 
the  concealment  of  the  savages. 

When  Colonel  Hepburn's  searching  party  was  about  to  leave  the  spot  without 
finding  all  the  victims,  the  boy  who  had  escaped  the  previous  day  insisted 
that  Mrs.  King  must  be  somewhere  in  the  thicket,  as  he  had  heard  her  scream  and 
say  she  would  not  go  along  with  the  savages  when  they  tried  to  drag  her  away,  and 
that  he  saw  her  fighting  desperately.  The  party  then  made  another  detour  through 
the  bushes  and  found  her  about  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  near  the  little  stream, 
where  she  had  dragged  herself  during  the  night  and  rested  with  her  hand  under  her 
head,  with  her  brains  oozing  over  her  fingers. 

William  King,  thus  suddenly  bereft  of  his  wife  and  children,  was  left  in  a  state 
of  mind  well  nigh  bordering  on  despair.  The  terrible  fate  of  his  wife  he  knew,  but 
he  did  not  know  the  fate  of  his  two  daughters,  Sarah  and  Ruth.  They  were  then, 
respectively,  four  and  two  years  old.  If  carried  into  captivity  it  was  terrible  to 
think  of  what  sufferings  they  must  endure  while  Ln  the  wilderness  at  their  tender 
ages.     Broken  down  with  grief  he  made  his  way  back  to  Northumberland. 

In  the  course  of  seven  3'ears  he  learned  that  the  children  were  in  Canada.  He 
immediately  started  in  search  of  them,  and  after  a  long  and  toilsome  journey,  found 
and  identified  them.  The  history  of  their  adventures,  and  the  difficulty  he  ex- 
perienced in  finding  them,  is  very  interesting,  but  too  long  for  these  pages.  When 
King  started  for  Canada  he  was  accompanied  by  a  friendly  Indian  as  a  guide  to 
Port  Niagara.  Their  route  was  up  Lycoming  creek.  On  the  journey  they  fell  in 
with  another  Indian,  who  kept  them  company  for  a  day  and  a  night.  During  the 
night  these  two  Indians  kept  up  such  an  animated  conversation  that  King' s  rest 
was  disturbed.  When  the  strange  Indian  left  the  nest  day  his  guide  informed  him 
that  he  was  the  man  who  had  killed  his  wife  in  the  massacre  near  Lvcoming  creek. 
This  greatly  exasperated  King  and  he  chided  his  guide  for  not  telling  him,  saying 
that  if  he  had  known  it  he  certainly  would  have  killed  him.  The  guide  replied  that 
he  feared  such  a  thing  and  therefore  kept  quiet.  The  long  talk  between  the  two  in 
the  vigils  of  the  night  was  probably  about  that  bloody  affair.  The  wretch  made  his 
escape  in  time,  for,  notwithstanding  peace  had  been  declared,  that  fact  would  not 
have  saved  him  from  the  punishment  he  so  richly  deserved  at  the  hands  of  the  out- 
raged husband. 

On  recovering  his  children  Mr.  King  started  back  with  them,  and  in  due  time 
reached  Northumberland.  From  them  he  learned  that  when  they  were  torn  from 
their  mother,  who  was  butchered  before  their  eyes,  they  were  wrapped  together  in 
a  blanket,  placed  on  a  horse  and  Hurried  away  through  the  woods  over  what  is  now 
Cemetery  street,  until  they  reached  the  Sheshequin  path  leading  through  Blooming 
Grove  and  up  Lycoming  creek,  which  they  followed  through  the  dark  and  dreary 
wilderness.  Soon  after  starting  little  Ruth  began  to  cry,  when  a  young  savage 
seized  her  by  the  legs  to  dash  her  brains  out  against  a  tree,  but  an  old  squaw  claimed 
her  as  her  child,  and  thus  by  one  of  their  peculiar  customs  her  tender  life  was 
spared.  On  reaching  Canada  the  squaw  sold  her  to  the  wife  of  an  English  ofiicer 
who  had  no  children,  and  in  her  hands  her  father  found  her.  When  Euth  grew  to 
womanhood  she  went  to  live  with  her  mother's  people  in  New  Jersey,  and  there  she 


married  a.  retired  sea  captain.     They  moved  to  Genesee,  New  York,  and  settled, 
became  well-to-do,  and  ended  their  days  there. 

Sarah  accompanied  her  father  when  he  returned  to  Jaysburg  in  1789,  and  lived 
with  him  until  he  died  in  1802.  She  then  went  to  the  home  of  her  half-brother, 
Joseph  King,  when  he  lived  on  the  Sutton  farm  in  1832.  This  farm  was  near  the 
wild  plum  tree  thicket,  where  the  tragedy  of  1778  took  place.  She  would  frequently 
take  her  nephew,  Charles  King,  and  others,  down  to  the  Methodist  church  that  then 
stood  at  Fourth  and  Cemetery  streets,  where  they  would  gather  the  wild  plums  that 
grew  so  abundantly,  and  she  would  point  out  the  spot  and  relate  the  bloody  inci- 
dents of  that  dreadful  day!  Sarah  finally  died  at  the  house  of  John  Kelly  King, 
Tioga  county,  September  19,  1850,  aged  seventy-six  years. 



The  Causes  Which  Led  to  the  Great  Disasteb — Vacillating  Coukse  of  the  Author- 
ities— Colonel  Hunter  Accused  op  Double  Dealing — An  Isiportant  Petition  and 
Who  Signed  It — Cruel  Mubdeb  or  a  Feiendlt  Indian — Colonel  Hunter  Orders 
the  People  to  Ply — A  Panic  Ensues — Appalling  Scenes  oe  Suepbbing  and 
Misery — Authobities  Aboused  at  Last — The  Loss  to  the  West  Beanch  Valley — 
Help  at  Last. 

THE  bloody  incidents  narrated  in  the  preceding  chapter  cast  a  pall  of  gloom 
over  the  infant  settlements,  and  terrorized  the  inhabitants.  Accounts  of  the 
ravages  of  the  Indians,  which  were  almost  daily  sent  to  the  Supreme  Executive 
Council,  had  a  slight  effect  at  last  on  that  body,  and  they  were  making  some  efforts 
to  relieve  the  people.  May  30,  1778,  Colonel  Hunter  informed  Vice-President 
Bryan  that  seventy  rifles  forwarded  to  him  were  on  the  way  between  Harris's  Ferry 
and  Fort  Augusta,  but  none  of  the  ammunition  which  he  was  so  sorely  in  need  of 
had  reached  the  former  place.  The  quantity  of  powder  and  lead  allotted  for  this 
county  he  thought  was  very  small,  when  the  number  able  to  bear  arms  was  con- 
sidered. He  closed  his  appeal  by  saying :  "If  the  people  were  relieved  of  the 
panic  they  were  struck  with  last  Monday,  after  hearing  of  the  ravages  of  the 
Indians  on  Loyalsock,  they  would  be  able  to  makfe  a  better  defence.  It  was  really 
distressing  to  see  the  women  and  children  from  all  quarters  running  to  places  the 
men  had  appointed  to  make  a  stand.  The  people  have  all  assembled  at  particular 
places  and  are  making  little  forts  to  leave  their  families  in,  while  they  go  out  to 
meet  and  repel  the  foe." 

When  Colonel  Hunter  dispatched  this  message  he  had  not  heard  the  worst,  for 
he  quickly  forwarded  another  on  the  31st  of  May,  in  which  he  said:  "We  are 
really  in  a  melancholy  situation  in  this  county.  The  back  inhabitants  have  all  evac- 
uated their  habitations   and  assembled  in  different  places.      All  above  Muncy  to 

STOET    OF    THE    "BIG    RUNAWAY."  129 

Lycoming  are  at  Samuel  Wallis's,  and  the  people  of  Muncy  have  gathered  at  Cap- 
tain Brady's.  All  above  Lycoming  are  at  Antes' s  mill,  and  the  mouth  of  Bald 
Eacrle  creek."      The  latter  designation  was  meant  for  Harris's  Fort. 

This  letter  was  addressed  to  Capt.  John  Hambright,  who  was  then  a  member  of 
the  Supreme  Executive  Council,  and  as  he  had  previously  been  a  resident  of  the 
county  and  was  familiar  with  every  point  mentioned,  Colonel  Hunter  was  particular 
in  noting  localities  for  his  information.  Continuing,  he  observed:  "A  panic  pre- 
vails in  this  county.  It  is  really  distressing  to  see  the  inhabitants  flying  away  and 
leaving  their  all,  especially  the  Jersey  people,  who  came  here  last  winter  and  spring. 
Not  one  stays,  but  sets  off  to  the  Jerseys  again.  The  people  in  general  are  so  dis- 
couraged that  I  am  afraid  we  will  not  be  able  to  make  proper  stands  against  the 
enemy,  unless  we  get  more  assistance  from  some  other  quarter." 

It  was  not  strange,  perhaps,  after  what  had  occurred,  that  such  a  condition 
existed.  The  people  had  every  reason  to  be  discouraged.  But  it  seems  they  were 
determined  to  make  one  more  effort.  The  Colonel  says:  "  There  were  a  number  of 
the  inhabitants  with  me  to-day  to  consult  in  regard  to  petitioning  Congress  for  some 
companies  to  be  stationed  here  and  properly  supported;  for,  as  the  generality  of  the 
settlers  are  poor,  they  can  not  subsist  long  in  case  they  are  obliged  to  keep  so  many 
of  the  militia  on  duty,  as  there  are  at  this  time  three  classes,  which  take  the  chief  of 
all  the  arms,  so  that  there  is  not  enough  left  to  supply  them  that  guard  the  women 
and  children.'"  The  people  had  very  likely  become  tired  of  appealing  to  the 
Supreme  Executive  CouncU  through  the  county  lieutenant,  or  they  would  not  have 
been  considering  the  propriety  of  addressing  Congress.  This  was  a  last  move  to 
arouse  the  government  to  speedy  action  in  their  behalf.  Colonel  Hunter  closed  his 
letter  with  these  words:  "John  Weitzfel  sets  off  to-day  [May  31]  to  forward  the 
arms  that  are  allowed  to  come  here,  and  to  endeavor  to  get  more  arms,  ammunition, 
and  flints.  Camp  kettles  are  Yery  much  wanted,  if  such  things  can  be  had.  I 
expect  you  will  endeavor  all  you  can  to  get  some  money  from  Council  for  Mr.  Weitzel 
to  purchase  provisions,  otherwise  we  will  be  all  undone." 

The  next  day  (June  1st)  the  heart  of  Colonel  Hunter  was  gladdened,  for  he 
wrote  Vice-President  Bryan  acknowledging  the  receipt  of  £1,500  in  cash  by  the 
hands  of  John  Harris,  Jr.,  of  Lo.valsock,  "'for  purchasing  provisions."  "Incase 
the  Board  of  War,"  he  added,  "  has  not  made  provisions  in  another  way,  the  money 
shall  be  put  to  the  use  proposed  by  Council."  He  complained,  however,  of  the  non- 
arrival  of  arms  which  had  been  promised  from  Northampton,  and  then  observed  < 
that  there  had  been  250  weight  of  gunpowder  received,  "  with  four  or  five  hundred 
weight  of  lead,  but  no  flints !  "  Flour  and  wheat,  he  thought,  could  be  purchased 
in  Lancaster  county.  And  if  they  succeeded  in  obtaining  it  there,  it  would  have  to  be 
transported  up  the  river  by  batteaux,  poled  by  stalwart  men,  which  was  a  slow 
process.  He  complained  of  the  rainy  condition  of  the  weather,  which  greatly  inter- 
fered with  military  movements  and  the  comfort  of  the  people.  He  also  remarked 
that  more  arms  and  ammunition,  exclusive  of  what  had  been  received  and  ordered, 
*' would  be  very  necessary  to  quiet  the  minds  of  the  people,  as  there  are  a  great 
many  more  that  will  tise  arms  in  their  defence  than  we  have  enrolled  in  the  militia, 
especially  men  above  the  age  of  fifty-three  and  under  eighteen  will  do  to  be  stationed 
at  such  little  forts  as   they  are   erecting  for  the   preservation  of  the  women  and 


children. "  He  admitted  that  it  was  "  verj  hard  to  have  all  the  county  doing  military 
duty  and  no  labor  going  on,  which  must  be  the  ruiu  of  this  poor  infant  county  if  it 
continues  any  time.''  At  the  date  of  this  writing  he  had  not  heard  of  any  serious 
trouble  up  the  river  since  the  24:th  of  May,  but  added  that  Indians  were  frequently 
seen  across  the  river  "  opposite  Antes' s  mill  and  at  the  Great  Island." 


When  the  massacre  of  the  10th  of  June  became  noised  about  the  excitement 
among  the  people  was  greatly  increased  and  a  panic  was  almost  precipitated. 
Wiser  counsels,  however,  prevailed  and  they  determined  to  hold  on  a  little  longer 
and  wait  for  help.  In  the  meantime  the  proposition  to  petition  Congress  was  not 
abandoned,  for  on  the  2d  of  June  Colonel  Hunter  wrote  Vice-President  Bryan 
informing  him  of  what  was  contemplated  by  the  people,  and  the  declaration  of  their 
inability  to  defend  themselves  without  aid  from  abroad.  The  chief  motive  for 
getting  up  this  petition,  (says  Hunter)  was  for  the  purpose  of  quieting  the  minds  of 
■^;he  people,  as  they  were  apprehensive  of  a  severe  stroke  from  the  Indians  about  the 
time  of  harvest,  which  woiild  take  all  the  militia  of  .the  county  to  guard  against  the 
savages,  and  cause  them  to  lose  their  crops.  The  "appeal"  was  a  long  document 
and  was  signed  almost  altogether  by  persons  living  below  Muncy  Hills,  where  there 
was  comparatively  little  danger. 

That  some  feeling  existed  between  the  upper  and  lower  sections  of  the  county  is 
evident,  for  on  the  10th  of  June,  the  day  of  the  Williamsport  massacre,  another  peti- 
tion was  forwarded  to  the  Executive  Council  praying  for  aid,  which  reflects  upon  the 
inability  of  Colonel  Hunter  to  procure  assistance  for  this  part  of  the  county.  It  is 
apparent  that  this  was  not  the  petition  to  which  he  made  reference  in  his  letter  of 
the  2d  of  June.  The  insinuation  in  his  letter  that  the  motive  for  preparing  that 
petition  was  to  quiet  the  people,  was  cruel  to  say  the  least.  From  the  language 
used  he  was  insincere,  or  did  not  exert  his  best  efforts  to  secure  aid.  The  inhab- 
itants above  the  iluncy  Hills  evidently  understood  his  true  position  when  they  almost 
to  a  man  signed  the  second  memorial  and  did  not  fail  to  hint  therein  what  they 
thought  of  him  as  county  lieutenant.  This  petition  is  dated  at  Muncy,  and  a  study 
of  the  names  will  show  that  they  nearly  all  belonged  to  the  section  now  embraced 
within  the  limits  of  Lycoming  county.  There  were  a  few  from  below  who  sympa- 
thized with  them  and  did  not  hesitate  to  unite  in  their  stirring  appeal.  This  last 
petition,  with  the  names  of  the  signers,  is  given  in  full: 

MtnscT,  June  10,  1778. 
To  the  HonorahU  the  Supreme  Executite  Council  of  tTu  State  of  Penn^ylcanta: 

The  remonstrance  of  sundry  the  distressed  inhabitants  of  the  county  of  Xorthumherland 
inhabiting  the  West  Branch  of  the  River  Susquehanna  above  5Iuncy  Hills,  humbly  sheweth: 

That  the  repeated  depredations  and  horrid  murders  lately  committed  upon  the  innocent  and 
peaceable  Inhabitants  amongst  us  within  a  few  weeks  past  is  truly  alarming.  The  melancholy 
event  of  the  31st  of  May  upon  Loyalsock  creek  obliged  us  to  leave  our  homes  and  livings,  and 
to  assemble  together  in  large  bodies  in  order  to  protect  our  wives  aud  infant  children  from 
becoming  the  victims  of  savage  fury:  in  full  faith  and  confidence  that  we  should  shortly  meet 
with  such  succor  as  would  enable  us  to  make  a  vigorous  stand,  that  we  have  since  frequently 
applied  to  the  lieutenant  of  the  county  for  aid,  who,  after  using  his  best  endeavors  has  not  been 
able  to  furnish  us  with  more  than  seventy -three  troops  of  the  militia  of  this  county  to  cover  a 
rentier  of  at  least  fortj-  miles  in  length.    This  supply  we  apprehend  to  be  of  very  little  use. 

STOEY    OF    THE    "BIG    RUNAWAY."  131 

especiallj'  as  their  times  will  be  out  in  the  midst  of  harvest,  and  should  anything  more  happen 
in  the  meanwhile,  we  are  convinced  that  it  will  he  impossible  to  call  out  the  militia  of  this 
county  at  any  rate;  that  those  considerations,  together  with  the  very  alarming  event  of  the 
murder  and  captivity  of  thirteen  of  our  near  neighbors  and  most  intimate  acquaintances  this 
day  has  drove  the  majority  of  us  to  desperation,  and  to  pray  that  you  in  your  wisdom  will  not 
only  order  to  our  immediate  relief  such  standing  forces  as  will  be  equal  to  our  necessity;  but 
that  you  will  order  such  magazines  and  stores  of  provisions  to  be  provided  as  will  convince  the 
good  people  of  this  place  that  such  troops  are  to  be  stationed  amongst  them  during  the  war. 
Kothing  short  of  j'our  immediate  assurance  of  this,  we  are  convinced,  will  induce  the  people  to 
run  the  farther  risk  of  being  obliged  to  move  away  at  a  more  unfavorable  season. 

Therefore  in  consideration  of  the  premises,  we  beg  leave  to  submit  ourselves  and  families 
to  your  care  and  protection,  not  doubting  but  you  will  order  us  such  relief  as  to  you  in  your 
wisdom  may  seem  meet. 

The  petitition  was  signed  by  Nimrod  Pennington,  Samuel  Gordon,  Joseph 
Arbour,  Joseph  Hogeland,  Joseph  Webster,  John  Hollingsworth,  Benjamin  Burt, 
Peter  Jones,  Charles  Bignall,  Nathaniel  Barber,  Albert  Polhamus,  John  Stryker, 
Samuel  Carpenter,  Samuel  Wallis,  Mordecai  McKinney,  Andrew  Culbertson,  Robert 
Eobb,  James  White,  Henry  Scott,  Joseph  J.  Wallis,  Amariah  Sutton,  William  Hall, 
Richard  Sutton,  Joseph  Carpenter,  Amos  Hogeland,  Erasmus  Persh,  Adam  Weaver,* 
Zachariah  Jeig,  Andrew  Piatt,  John  Sutton,  Thomas  McWhorter,  Henry  McWhorter, 
Israel  Parshall,  David  Wortman,  Andrew  Ross,  Abraham  Lafever,  Albert  Covenho- 
hoven,  Matthew  Bleakley,  William  Ellis,  Samuel  Harris,  Jr.,  John  Carpenter,  Joseph 
Gounon,  Thomas  Keen,  Daniel  Green,  Joseph  Sutton,  John  Glendining,  Isaac  Hall, 
Enos  Lundy,  Samuel  Harris,  John  Harris,  John  Eobb,  Andrew  Wortman,  James 
Hinds,  Barnet  Stryker,  John  Covenhoven,  Cornelius  Low,  Timothy  Treascey,  Henry 
Pittinger,  William  Hepburn,  Paul  Ricketts,  Cornelius  Vanende,  Robert  McWhorter, 
Ezra  Green,  Comfort  Waner'er,  Daniel  Perine,  Cornelius  Love,  Pictern  Yekof,  Tim- 
othy Smith,  John  Ferney,  Jonathan  Benjamin,  Daniel  Green,  Henry  Cymore,  Will- 
iam Snodgrass,  Michael  Coons,  Cornelius  Low,  Peter  Smith,  William  Hammond, 
David  Berry,  Peter  Burns,  Peter  Carter,  William  Jones,  John  Buckalow,  Ebenezer 
Green,  Garordis  Townsend,  Frederick  Blow,  Benjamin  Green,  Claudius  Boatman, 
John  Scudder,  Michael  Coriell,  Thomas  Hunt,  William  Hamilton,  Henry  Silverthorn, 
James  Clark,  Edward  Reardon,  Fleming  Wilson,  Nathaniel  Landon,  Joseph  Beckars, 
Jacob  McKinney,  Oaky  Stevenson,  Samuel  Brady,  James  Brady,  James  Patton, 
Jerome  Vanest,  Jacob  Houk,  Paulus  Sheep,  Caleb  Knap,  Joshua  Ran,  Powel  Sheep, 

Solomon ,  John  Hall,   Patrick  Murdock,  William  Leacock,  Charles   Richards, 

Lieutenant,  James  Hamilton,  John  Hampton,  Jacob  Lawrenson,  Ephraim  Wortman, 
James  Hampton,  John  White,  Arthur  Moore,  Jonathan  Hampton,  Jacob  Lameson, 
William  Wilson,  Thomas  Newman,  Jr.,  Joseph  Newman,  Robert  Guy,  Robert  Wil- 
son, tanner,  Jonathan  Hamil,  Thomas  Newman,  Sr.,  Oliver  Silverthorn,  Thomas 
Oliver,  Joshua  White,  George  Silverthorn,  Henry  Starrett,  James  Giles,  George  Jor- 
dan, Michael  Schmidt,  David  Austin,  Joseph  Hall,  William  Watson,  John  Morris, 
Thomas  Lobdell,  and  Samuel  Armstrong. 

This  petition  had  some  weight  with  the  Supreme  Executive  Council  and  the 
Board  of  War,  as  the  subsequent  action  of  those  bodies  will  show.  But  with  the 
enemy  at  the  door  it  was  hard  for  the  inhabitants  to  wait  for  assistance,  and  time 
seemed  long  to  them. 

On  the  14th  of  June,  four  days  after  the  bloody  occurrences  of  the  10th,  Colonel 


Hunter  officially  informed  Yice-President  Bryan  of  what  had  taken  place  on  the  West 
Branch.  Communication  with  Antes' s  mill  was  then  cut  off.  "This  affair,"  he 
remarked,  "hath  hurt  us  much,''  meaning  the  slaughter  on  Loyalsock  and  Lycom- 
ing creeks. 


There  is  one  particular  incident  connected  with  this  Indian  invasion  which  should 
not  be  overlooked.  Job  Chilloway,  the  friendly  Indian,  early  gave  notice  to  the 
whites  of  the  conspiracy  and  contemplated  invasion  of  the  valley,  and  warned  them 
to  be  prepared  and  on  their  guard.  In  the  early  spring  of  this  year  (1778)  an  Indian 
suddenly  appeared  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river  from  Heed's  Fort,  at  Lock 
Haven,  and  made  anxious  signs  for  some  one  to  ferry  him  across.  Colonel  Long, 
■who  was  stationed  there  with  a  small  body  of  militia,  was  suspicious  and  feared  he 
might  be  a  decoy.  He  continued  making  signs  for  a  ferryman  and  seemed  to  be 
honestly  disposed.  Still  the  commander  hesitated.  To  show  that  his  intentions 
were  good  he  waded  as  far  into  the  river  as  he  could  and  appealed  for  assistance. 
One  of  the  women  at  the  fort,  (supposed  to  be  Mrs.  Reed,)  noticing  the  hesitancy  of 
the  Colonel,  jumped  into  a  canoe,  paddled  over  the  river,  and  brought  the  Indian 
across.  He  proved  to  be  a  friendly  Indian,  and  had  traveled  a  long  distance  over 
mountains  and  streams  to  warn  the  settlers  that  a  hostile  band  of  savages  was  prepar- 
ing to  make  a  descent  on  the  valley  from  the  north  for  the  purpose  of  murder  and 
pillage.  He  was  greatly  exhausted  by  his  long  and  perilous  journey,  and  when  he 
had  delivered  his  message  he  repaired  to  a  quiet  place,  lay  dovm,  and  was  soon 
buried  in  a  profound  slumber. 

A  number  of  the  militia  at  Reed's  were  engaged  in  shooting  at  a  mark.  Among 
them  was  a  man  named  De  Witt,  who  was  slightly  intoxicated.  As  he  was  loading 
his  rifle  he  remarked  to  his  companions  that  he  would  make  the  bullet  he  was 
putting  in  kill  an  Indian.  Little  atteution  was  paid  to  his  remark  at  the  time. 
He  made  his  word  good,  however;  for,  instead  of  firing  at  the  mark,  he  leveled  his 
rifle  at  the  head  of  the  sleeping  Indian  and  shot  him  dead !  Those  who  knew  of  his 
errand  of  mercy  were  horrified  at  the  deed.  A  baser  act  of  ingratitude  could  not 
weU  be  committed.  The  cool  blooded  murder,  for  such  it  really  was,  was  unpro- 
voked and  cowardly  in  the  extreme.  The  witnesses  were  so  exasperated  over  the 
iahuman  act  that  they  threatened  to  lynch  De  Witt.  This  alarmed  and  sobered 
him,  when  conscience  told  him  what  a  deed  of  perfidy  he  had  committed,  and 
realiztug  his  danger,  he  took  to  his  heels  and  fled.  No  efforts  were  made  to  stop 
him,  and  he  was  never  heard  of  again.  Probably  retributive  justice  quickly  over- 
took him  and  he  fell  by  the  remorseless  tomahawk. 

The  hostile  band  of  which  the  friendly  Indian  had  given  notice  came.  It 
consisted  of  twelve  or  fourteen  savages,  and  terribly  did  they  do  their  work  at 
Loyalsock,  Thomson's,  and  Lycoming.  They  fled  by  the  way  of  the  Sheshequin 
path  up  Lycoming  creek,  and  onto  Fort  Niagara,  "the  headquarters  of  all  that  was 
barbarous,  unrelenting,  and  cruel,"  where  they  demanded  and  received  their 
reward,  in  the  shape  of  British  gold,  for  the  bloody  scalps  they  turned  over  as 
trophies  of  their  raid! 

The  atrocious  act  of  De  Witt  barelv  attracted  the  atteution  of  one  of  the  general 

STOKY    OP    THE    "BIG    EUNAWAT."  133 

officers.  On  the  17th  of  June,  Brig.  Gen.  James  Potter,  writing  to  George 
Stewart,  said  that  Colonel  Long  had  forwarded  to  him  an  account  of  the  assaults  on 
Loyalsock  and  Lycoming,  and  then  added  that  a  few  days  before  he  had  an  Indian 
prisoner  who  "  had  come  down  from  Sinnemahoning,  and  given  him  information  of 
the  approach  of  twelve  Indians  who  did  the  murder."  "I  intended,"  added 
Colonel  Long,  "  to  have  sent  him  down  to  Colonel  Hunter  in  order  to  satisfy  him, 
but  an  evil  disposed  person  belonging  to  a  lower  garrison  shot  him  as  he  was 
sleeping  in  the  guard  house."  He  does  not  say  whether  he  disapproved  of  the  act, 
or  took  advantage  of  the  information  given  him.  by  the  Indian,  who  was  basely 
murdered  after  apprising  him  of  the  danger  in  store  for  the  settlers,  but  concluded 
his  letter  by  saying:  "  We  are  informed  that  the  northern  Indians  are  determined  to 
destroy  both  branches  [the  Susquehanna  settlements]  this  month.' ' 

Had  Colonel  Long  evinced  any  disposition  to  act  quickly  on  the  important 
information  brought  him  from  the  wilds  of  Sinnemahoning,  the  calamity  which 
befell  the  settlers  below  might  have  been  averted,  as  the  hostile  band  had  to  pass 
almost  in  sight  of  his  post.  A  vigilant  commander  would  have  sent  out  scouts  and 
made  some  effort  to  discover  the  whereabouts  of  the  foe. 


Time  wore  away  and  little  progress  was  made  in  the  feeble  efforts  to  protect  the 
inhabitants  of  the  West  Branch.  Council,  under  date  of  Lancaster,  June  2l8t, 
informed  General  Roberdeau  that  they  continued  to  have  distressing  accounts  from 
Northumberland.  The  company  of  100  men  allowed  by  the  Board  of  War  for  the 
defence  of  the  frontier  was  found  to  be  insuiScient,  and  the  levy  being  restrained  to 
the  county,  added  little  to  the  defence.  "  Fearing  the  whole  settlement  will  give 
way,"  continues  the  writer  in  behalf  of  Council,  "orders  have  just  been  issued  for 
another  such  corps  exactly,  to  be  raised  in  Lancaster  county  under  six  months' 
enlistment,  for  which  it  will  be  well  that  you  procure  approbation  and  the  issue  of 

Two  days  later,  Gen.  John  Armstrong,  writing  from  Carlisle  to  Vice-President 
Bryan,  informed  him  that  he  had  strong  hopes  that  Congress  would  soon  take  up 
the  question  as  to  what  was  the  best  plan  for  protecting  the  frontier,  and  he  begged 
to  offer  some  suggestions.  That  Indian  depredations  were  increasing  the  General 
was  satisfied,  and  it  was  his  opinion  if  some  of  their  towns  or  places  of  rendezvous 
could  be  reached  and  destroyed  some  effective  service  would  be  rendered.  If  some- 
thing was  not  speedily  done  to  repel  the  savages,  "  Carlisle  must  be  the  frontier  in 
the  space  of  one  month."  He  believed  that  in  order  to  carry  out  this  plan  success- 
fully, ' '  not  less  than  three  different  bodies  of  men  should  march  at  once,  or  near 
the  same  time;  one  from  Sunbury,  to  proceed  Dp  the  Susquehanna,  and  two  of 
greater  force  from  Pittsburg  up  the  Allegheny  river.  These  forces,  he  believed, 
would  divert  the  attention  of  the  Indians  and  prevent  them  from  collecting  in  large 
bodies,  when  their  harboring  places  could  be  attacked  and  destroyed. 

The  dilatory  and  temporizing  policy  of  the  Supreme  Executive  Council  was  well 
calculated  to  bring  about  the  very  condition  foreshadowed  by  the  petitioners.  The 
outlook  was  growing  more  gloomy  from  day  to  day.  Harvest  was  ready  to  cut  and 
Indians  were  lying  in  wait  to  assail  the  husbandmen  the  moment  they  should  leave 

134  HISTOEy    OF    L5C0MING    COUNTY. 

their  temporary  places  of  defence  and  enter  their  fields.      The  savage  knew  the  time 
to  strike. 

' '  THE    BIS    BUNA  WAT.  ' ' 

The  blow  came  at  last.  A  strong  force  of  Indians,  Tories,  and  British  attacked 
the  settlers  at  Wyoming  in  the  afternoon  of  July  3,  1778,  defeated  them  with  heavy 
loss,  and  closed  the  carnage  of  the  day  by  a  dreadful  massacre  in  the  evening. 
This  was  the  culmination  of  the  plan  to  exterminate  the  settlements  in  the  valleys 
of  both  branches  of  the  Susquehanna.  The  battle  of  Wyoming  struck  terror  into 
the  settlements  on  the  North  Branch  and  a  general  flight  commenced.  All  who 
could  get  away  fled  precipitately. 

When  the  news  reached  Colonel  Hunter  he  was  greatly  alarmed,  and  fearing  for  the 
safety  of  the  people  on  the  West  Branch,  especially  those  living  west  of  the  Muncy 
Hills,  sent  word  to  Colonel  Hepburn  to  order  them  to  abandon  the  country  and  fly  to 
Fort  Augusta.  He  did  this,  he  claimed,  because  there  was  an  insufficient  force  of 
militia  to  afford  adequate  protection  in  case  of  a  combined  attack  like  that  at  Wyom- 
ing. Congress  had  done  nothing  to  provide  him  with  men  and  means  to  guard  the 
frontier,  and  in  the  hour  of  peril  there  was  but  one  alternative  left  him. 

Colonel  Hepburn  obeyed  orders  promptly.  Messengers  were  dispatched  to  the 
points  where  the  people  were  collected  to  warn  them  to  fly.  Some  trouble  was 
experienced  in  getting  a  messenger  to  cany  the  news  to  Antes  and  Horn' s  Forts, 
the  farthest  outlying  posts  up  the  river.  Finally  Robert  Covenhoven,  and  a  young 
millwright  in  the  employ  of  Andrew  Culbertson  volunteered  to  carry  the  orders. 
Covenhoven  was  brave  and  true,  and  knew  the  habits  of  the  Indians  thoroughly. 
The  mission  was  dangerous,  but  the  messengers  quailed  not.  They  crossed  the 
river,  ascended  Bald  Eagle  mountain,  and  traveled  along  the  summit  until  they 
came  to  the  gap  opposite  Antes  Fort,  when  they  cautiously  descended.  Coven- 
hoven knew  that  Indians  would  not  be  found  on  the  mountain.  From  that  eleva- 
tion he  would  have  a  good  view  of  the  valley,  and  could  quickly  detect  Indians  if 
they  should  be  moving  on  any  of  the  paths.  .When  they  came  in  sight  of  the  fort 
it  was  evening.  As  they  cautiously  approached  the  report  of  a  rifle  rang  upon  their 
ears  and  they  were  momentarily  alarmed  and  thought  they  had  been  fired  on. 
Investigation  showed  that  the  shot  had  been  fired  by  a  lurking  Indian  at  a  young 
woman  who  had  incautiously  gone  outside  to  milk  a  cow.  She  was  uninjured,  but 
greatly  terrified,  as  the  ball  passed  through  her  clothes. 

The  orders  were  passed  on  to  Horn's  as  speedily  as  possible,  and  the  work  of  pre- 
paring for  the  exodus  commenced.  Canoes,  rafts,  and  all  manner  of  floats  were^ 
hastily  collected  and  loaded  with  household  effects  and  provisions,  when  the  women 
and  children  were  placed  on  board  and  the  motley  fleet  started  down  the  river.  In 
many  instances  household  utensils  and  articles  of  value  that  could  not  be  carried 
away  were  buried  by  the  owners,  and  when  they  returned  a  few  years  afterwards  they  , 
were  found  in  fair  condition.  As  the  fleets  moved  down  the  stream  they  were  con- 
voyed by  companies  of  men  armed  with  their  trusty  rifles,  who  marched  along  the 
shore,  and  in  supporting  distance  of  each  other. 

Covenhoven  hurriedly  returned  to  Wallis'  s  and  assisted  his  own  family  to  get 
away.     The  excitement  which  prevailed  among  the  people  at  this  time  is  simply  in- 

STOEY    OF    THE    "BIG   RUNAWAY."  135 

describable.  Many  droTe  away  their  stock  and  hurried  them  down  the  river  by  the 
public  road.  Fear  lent  wings  to  every  one  in  their  flight.  The  retreat  was  marked 
by  confusion,  constant  alarms,  and  terror.  Indians  were  imagined  to  lurk  in  every 
bush.  No  one  considered  himself  safe,  but  expected  to  be  set  upon  and  scalped  at 
every  turn  in  the  river  or  the  road. 

Covenhoven  accompanied  his  father's  family  to  Sunbury  and  then  hurried  back 
with  a  keel-boat  to  secure  their  household  furniture.  As  he  was  rounding  a  point 
in  the  river  above  Lewisburghe  met  the  main  fleet  descending  from  the  forts  above. 
"  Such  a  sight,"  he  says,  "  he  never  saw  in  his  life.  Boats,  canoes,  hog  troughs, 
rafts  hastily  made  of  dry  sticks — every  sort  of  floating  article  had  been  put  in  req- 
uisition and  where  crowded  with  women,  children,  and  plunder — there  were  several 
hundred  people  in  all.  Whenever  any  obstruction  occurred  at  a  shoal  or  riffle,  the 
women  would  leap  out  and  put  their  shoulders,  not  indeed  to  the  wheel,  but  to  the 
flat-boat  or  raft,  and  launch  it  again  in  deep  water." 

Mrs.  Hannah  Miller,  a  daughter  of  Samuel  Wallis,  who  died  at  Muncy  in  1858, 
and  who  fled  with  her  father's  family,  related  this  exciting  incident:  "During  the 
night  a  number  of  families  were  with  them  on  a  flat-boat.  They  had  placed  boxes 
or  chests  along  the  sides  of  the  craft,  leaving  a  space  in  the  center  where  the  beds 
were  made  for  the  women  and  children.  While  a  German  woman  was  engaged  doing 
something  about  the  boat,  she  laid  her  baby  on  one  of  the  boxes.  It  rolled  off,  and 
landing  among  the  other  children  commenced  crying  loudly.  This  alarmed  all  the 
mothers  and  they  had  a  hard  time  to  prevent  their  babies  from  crying.  They  feared 
that  such  a  noise  might  attract  the  attention  of  Indians  lurking  along  the  shore. 

Had  it  not  been  for  the  arm.ed  force  that  marched  along  the  shores  to  protect  the 
women  and  children  in  the  floats,  the  Indians  very  likely  would  have  attacked  them 
at  the  most  dangerous  points,  and  caused  great  havoc.  In  a  day  or  two  the  valley 
was  abaudoned  and  homes  and  ripening  harvests  left  to  the  mercy  of  the  foe. 
Those  in  the  rear  could  see  the  sky  reddened  at  night  by  the  lurid  glare  caused  by 
burning  houses  and  bams.  The  scene  was  one  of  appalling  grandeur,  and  the  im- 
pression made  on  the  minds  of  those  who  witnessed  it — especially  the  young — was 
so  vivid  and  deep  that  it  never  was  efPaced,  but  like  some  hideous  spectre  of  evil, 
was  always  bsfore  tham  to  hiunt  their  mamories! 

This  remarkable  and  exciting  event,  which  stands  vnthout  a  parallel  in  the  annals 
of  pioneer  times,  is  what  is  known  in  history  as  the  '"'Big  Runaway \  "  It  marked 
an  epoch  in  the  early  development  of  this  valley,  on  account  of  the  temporizing  policy 
which  brought  it  about,  that  has  never  yet  been  fully  explained  by  State  historians. 

Ou  the  4th  of  July,  a  few  days  before  the  fugitives  began  to  arrive  at  Sunbury, 
Colonel  Hunter  dispatched  a  messenger  to  Vice-President  Bryan,  informing  him  that 
he  had  "intelligence  of  the  most  alarming  and  serious  consequence,"  and  he  feared 
that  "  Wyoming  will  not  long  be  able  to  oppose  the  rapid  progress  of  the  enemy." 
"In  that  case,"  he  continued,  "  we  can  not  say  when  the  [Indians]  will  stop,  and 
Lancaster  county  must  soon  tell  their  ravages. " 

Wyoming  had  then  fallen,  but  he  did  not  know  it.  But  a  few  days  elapsed, 
however,  until  advance  couriers  began  to  arrive  and  the  stories  they  told  of  disaster 
and  carnage  were  of  the  most  exciting  and  exaggerated  character.  The  startling 
intelligence  alarmed  and  almost  distracted  the  doughty  commander  of  Fort  Augusta, 


and  it  was  not  long  till  he  liad  dispatched  a  messenger  to  Colonel  Hepburn  to  issue 
orders  to  the  people  to  evacuate  the  West  Branch  valley. 

Five  days  later,  (July  9,  1778,)  he  had  sufficiently  recovered  from  the  state  of 
excitement  into  which  he  had  been  thrown,  to  issue  a  proclamation  to  the  com- 
manders of  militia  in  Berks  county,  in  which  he  informed  them  of  the  ''distressed 
situation  of  this  county ....  The  inhabitants  of  the  West  Branch  have  suffered 
almost  as  much  as  Wyoming,  though  not  at  one  time,  therefore  not  so  severely  felt ; 
however,  both  branches  are  almost  evacuated,  and  from  all  appearances  the  towns  of 
Northumberland  and  Sunbury  will  be  the  frontiers  in  less  than  twenty-four  hours." 
But  being  a  little  bit  encouraged,  he  paused  to  notify  them  that  "  the  inhabitants 
of  both  towns,  with  a  few  of  the  fugitives  from  the  upper  parts  of  the  county,  seem 
determined  to  make  a  stand,  but  how  long  they  can  do  it  is  very  precarious,  and 
indeed  without  assistance  from  other  counties  their  stand  will  be  very  short,  in 
which  case  you  and  other  counties  must  experience  the  calamities  we  now  feel  by 
being  the  frontier."  Dropping  into  a  reflective  mood  the  Colonel  concluded: 
"Nothing  but  a  firm  reliance  on  Divine  Providence,  and  the  virtue  of  our  neighbors, 
induces  the  few  to  stand  that  remain  in  the  two  towns,  and  if  they  are  not  very 
speedily  reinforced  they  must  give  way,  but  will  have  this  consolation  that  they  have 
stood  in  defence  of  their  liberty  and  country  as  long  as  they  could,  and  that  the 
want  of  assistance  alone  obliges  them  to  retreat.  In  justice  to  the  county,  [North- 
umberland] I  must  bear  testimony  that  the  States  never  applied  to  it  in  vain.  The 
whole  State  must  know  that  we  have  reduced  ourselves  to  our  present  feeble  con- 
dition by  our  readiness  to  turn  out  upon  all  occasions  when  called  upon  in  defence  of 
the  common  cause.  Should  we  now  fall  for  want  of  assistance,  let  the  neighboring 
counties  reconcile  to  themselves,  if  they  can,  the  breach  of  brotherly  love,  charity, 
and  every  other  virtue  which  adorns  and  advances  the  human  species  above  the 
brute  creation. ' '  Such  a  severe  arraignment,  as  well  as  reflection  on  the  purity  of 
the  motives  of  his  neighbors,  was  not  calculated  to  make  them  feel  very  warmly 
towards  him,  much  less  to  strain  a  point  to  aid  him. 

He  closed  his  "proclamation"  by  saying:  "I  will  not  attempt  to  point  out 
particular  cruelties  or  barbarities  that  have  been  practiced  on  our  unhappy  inhabit- 
ants, but  assure  you  that  for  the  number,  history  affords,  in  no  instance,  more 
heathenish  cruelty  or  savage  barbarity  than  has  been  exhibited  in  this  county.  I 
shall  only  add  that  a  few  hundred  men,  timely  sent  to  Sunbury,  to  act  in  conjunc- 
tion with  the  people  who  mean  to  stand  there,  or  proceed  further  up  the  country,  as 
occasion  may  require,  will,  in  all  human  probability,  save  numbers  of  lives,  and  pre- 
vent the  depredations  threatened  by  the  savages  on  other  counties.  I  should  be 
glad,  gentlemen,  to  hear  from  some  of  you  as  soon  as  possible,  that  we  may  know 
what  assistance  we  are  to  expect  from  your  county." 

There  is  nothing  on  record  to  show  that  these  militia  officers,  who  were  so  chided 
in  this  proclamation,  ever  did  anything  to  assist  Colonel  Hunter  in  the  hour  of  his 
extremity.  Less  letter  writing  might  have  redounded  more  to  his  credit  as  a  county 

William  Maclay,  who  was  at  Paxtang  on  the  12th  of  July,  the  same  day  that 
Colonel  Hunter  wrote  his  letter  to  the  Berks  county  officers,  addressed  one  to 
Timothy  Matlack,  secretary  of  the  Supreme  Executive  Council,  informing  him  that 

STOEY    OF    THE    "BIG    EUNAWAY."  "  137 

he  "left  Sunbuiy  and  almost  his  whole  property,  on  Wednesday."  He  had  fled 
with  his  family  by  water.  "'I  never  in  my  life''  he  says,  "saw  such  scenes  of 
distress.  The  river,  and  the  roads  leading  down  it,  were  covered  with  men,  women, 
and  children  flying  for  their  lives,  many  without  any  property  at  all,  and  none  who 
had  not  left  the  greatest  part  behind.  In  short,  Northumberland  county  is  broken 
up.  Colonel  Hunter  only  remained,  using  his  utmost  endeavors  to  rally  some  of 
the  inhabitants,  and  to  make  a  stand,  however  short,  against  the  enemy.  I  left  him 
with  very  few,  I  can  not  speak  with  certainty  as  to  numbers,  but  am  confident  when  I 
left  him  he  had  not  one  hundred  men  on  whom  he  could  depend." 

Mr.  Maclay  was  one  of  the  representative  men  of  the  county  and  had  but  recently 
retired  from  the  office  of  prothonotary.  The  scenes  of  distress  and  misery  which  he 
describes  must  have  been  harrowing  indeed.  The  panic  seemed  to  be  universal. 
None  remained  behind  but  those  who  could  not  get  away,  or  those  whom  stern  duty 
compelled  to  stay.  He  was  disposed  to  defend  Colonel  Hunter,  notwithstanding  his 
hasty  order  to  fly  was  the  cause  of  the  panic  on  the  West  Branch.  He  says:  "  Some- 
thing, my  dear  sir,  must  be  done  to  restore  confidence  to  the  desponding  and  flying 
multitude,  and  to  make  them  face  the  enemy.  Depend  on  it,  the  country  will  be 
lost  without  some  measures.  For  God's  sake,  for  the  sake  of  the  country,  let 
Colonel  Hunter  be  reinforced  at  Sunbury — send  him  but  a  single  company,  if  you 
can  not  do  more."  Among  the  fugitives  then  at  Paxtang  was  Mrs.  Hunter,  wife  of 
the  commander  of  Fort  Augusta.      She  had  accompanied  Mr.  Maclay  and  family. 

"The  miserable  example  of  the  Wyoming  people,"  observes  Mr.  Maclay,  "  who 
have  come  down  absolutely  naked  among  us,  has  operated  strongly,  and  the  cry  has 
been,  '  Let  us  move  while  we  may,  and  let  us  carry  off  some  of  our  effects  along  with 
us. '  It  was  to  no  purpose  that  Colonel  Hunter  issued  orders  for  assembling  the  militia, 
and  the  whole  county  broke  loose. "  His  sympathies  were  greatly  stirred  when  he 
remarked  that  "something  in  the  way  of  charity  ought  to  be  done  for  the  many 
miserable  objects  that  crowd  the  banks  of  this  river,  especially  those  who  fled  from 
Wyoming. ' '  He  admitted  that  they  were  a  people  he  did  not  love  very  warmly  at 
one  time,  but  now  he  did  most  "sincerely  pity  their  distress."  As  the  women  and 
children  "  are  now  removed  out  of  Northumberland  county,"  he  believed  that  the 
men  would  cheerfully  return  with  the  first  troops  sent  up  the  river.  One  of  the 
causes,  Mr.  Maclay  thought,  of  the  great  panic,  was  the  impression  that  prevailed 
among  the  people  that  no  relief  would  be  sent  here.  This  opinion  grew  out  of  the 
inactivity  of  the  authorities.  Appeal  after  appeal  had  been  made  for  assistance  and 
still  none  came.  Letter  after  letter  had  been  written  by  men  prominent  in  the 
valley  to  members  of  Congress,  the  Board  of  War,  and  the  Council,  setting  forth 
the  condition  of  afFairs  here,  and  yet  no  decisive  steps  were  taken  for  their  relief. 

After  all  these  fruitless  attempts  to  get  some  assurance  of  aid,  the  people  were  in 
a  fit  condition  to  take  alarm  on  the  slightest  opportunity.  Colonel  Hunter  gave  the 
word,  and  lo!  the  "Big  Runaway,"  and  the  desolation  of  the  fairest  portion  of 
Lycoming  county. 

Copious  extracts  have  been  made  from  letters  and  official  documents  to  give  the 
reader  a  clear  insight  into  the  causes  operating  to  bring  aboutvthis  extraordinary 
condition  of  affairs.  Few  have  had  the  opportunity  to  examine  the  records  in  order 
to  get  at  the  merits  of  the  case,  and  as  the  exciting  and  bloody  events  of  that  period 


form  the  verr  foundation  of  onr  connty  history,  it  has  been  deemed  best  to  put  them 
in  intelligible  form  for  the  benefit  of  those  who  have  always  been  puzzled  to  know 
the  reasons  for  the  "Big  Eunaway." 

Colonel  Hunter  was  a  prolific  letter  writer.  After  his  famous  letter  to  the  Berks 
county  militia  colonels  be  set  about  preparing  one  for  the  Supreme  Executive  Coun- 
cil, which  was  in  the  form  of  an  official  report  of  the  flight,  as  well  as  another  stLr- 
ring  appeal  for  help.     It  is  simply  a  repetition  of  what  has  already  been  given. 


Xow  that  the  British  were  retreating  through  New  Jersey,  and  Washington  had 
already  punished  them  at  Monmouth,  he  was  in  a  condition  to  spare  some  of  his 
forces  to  pursue  their  savage  allies  who  were  assailing  his  rear.  The  skies  were 
brighter  in  the  front,  and  as  a  consequence  the  authorities  were  more  encouraged 
than  they  had  been  for  a  long  time.  There  was  yet  hope  for  the  flying  settlers, 
although  their  excited  condition  had  not  yet  sufficiently  subsided  to  enable  them  to 
realize  that  all  was,  perhaps,  not  yet  lost. 

A  consultation  between  the  Supreme  Executive  Council  and  the  Board  of  War 
on  the  nth  of  July,  resulted  in  an  understanding  as  to  a  plan  for  immediate  defens- 
ive operations,  which  was  promptly  approved  by  Congress.  Acting  upon  the  plan 
of  General  Armstrong,  it  was  agreed  that  a  detachment  of  Colonel  Hartley's  regi- 
ment should  march  from  Xew  Jersey  to  Easton,  where  it  would  unite  with  other 
forces;  the  remainder  of  his  regiment,  then  in  Philadelphia,  was  to  march  immedi- 
ately to  SunbuTT  and  join  two  companies  lately  raised  at  Wyoming.  Colonel  Brod- 
head's  regiment  was  to  be  ordered  to  Standing  Stone,  (now  Huntingdon).  But  it 
was  found  "  necessary  to  add  to  these  Continental  troops  a  considerable  body  of  mili- 
tia."' It  was  therefore  determined  by  Council  "to  order  to  Sunbury  300  militia 
from  the  county  of  Northumberland,  400  from  the  county  of  Lancaster,  and  150 
from  the  county  of  Berks;  to  the  Standing  Stone,  300  from  the  county  of  Cumber- 
land, and  200  from  the  county  of  York;  to  Easton,  from  the  county  of  Northamp- 
ton, 300  men,  and  from  the  county  of  Berks,  150  men." 

With  these  forces  it  was  thought  the  enemy  could  be  sufficiently  crippled  and 
driven  back  to  enable  the  settlers  to  return  and  gather  their  harvests,  while  thus 
protected;  and  that,  perhaps,  he  would  not  be  able  to  return  and  do  any  farther 
damage.  Colonel  Hunter  was  therefore  notified  to  exert  himself  to  get  his  quota  of 
men  for  this  county  in  the  field  immediately.  It  was  expected  that  he  had  enough 
guns  in  his  hands  to  arm  them,  and  he  was  informed  that  ammunition  and  provisions 
would  be  supplied  to  his  order  by  the  Board  of  War. 

When  these  operations  were  determined  upon  the  panic  among  the  people  still 
continued.  Bertram  Galbraith,  writing  from  Lancaster,  July  14th,  to  the  Council, 
says:  "  On  Sunday  morning  last  the  banks  of  the  Susquehanna,  from  iliddletown 
up  to  the  Blue  mountain,  were  entirely  clad  with  the  inhabitants  of  Northumber- 
land county  who  had  moved  off,  as  well  as  many  in  the  river  in  boats,  canoes,  and 
rafts.  Indeed,  the  inhabitants  of  Wiconisco  valley,  about  twenty-five  miles  above 
Harris's  Ferry,  in  this  county  [then  Berks]  were  moving  on  Sunday  last,  and  the 
people  lower  down  were  thinking  to  follow! " 

Timothy  Pickering,  of  the  Board  of  War,  informed  Council  on  the  16th  of  July 

STOBY    OF    THE    "BIG    RUNAWAY.''  139 

that  General  Mcintosh,  hearing  of  the  ravages  of  the  Indians  at  Wyoming,  had 
ordered  Colonel  Brodhead  with  his  regiment  up  the  Susquehanna.  Gen.  J.  P. 
De  Haas,  in  the  meantime,  had  written  to  the  Board  of  War  from  Lebanon,  stating 
that  he  would  immediately  proceed  to  Sunbury  with  a  sufficient  force  to  oppose  the 
invaders,  and  he  requested  instructions.  On  the  16th  Colonel  Pickering,  "in  the 
name  of  the  Board  of  War,"  informed  Council  that  General  De  Haas  had  offered  his 
services  in  leading  out  a  body  of  volunteers  against  the  Indians.  Council  applauded 
the  action  of  the  General,  and  wished  to  give  him  their  "  utmost  eoniidence. "  In  a 
word  they  were  rejoiced  "  to  find  an  officer  of  weight  and  experience  stepping  forth 
in  the  defence  of  the  country." 

The  same  day  Timothy  Matlack,  a  member  of  Council,  acknowledged  the  receipt 
of  a  letter  fi'om  the  Board  of  War  informing  Council  of  their  action,  and  acquiesc- 
ing in  the  proposition  to  send  Colonel  Brodhead's  regiment  to  the  support  of 
the  people,  "  as  there  was  too  much  reason  to  apprehend  that  the  regular  force 
would  not,  under  the  present  dreadful  apprehensions  of  danger,  be  sufficient  to 
encourage  the  militia  to  exert  themselves  in  a  vigorous  defence."  Col.  Bertram 
Galbraith,  of  Lancaster  county,  had  received  orders  to  call  out  his  quota  of  militia, 
but  the  Committee  had  some  doubts  of  the  success  of  the  plan  of  General  De  Haas 
to  "raise  volunteers  on  the  present  occasion,"  and  in  their  opinion  it  would  "not 
be  advisable  for  him  to  interfere  with  the  legal  mode  of  calling  out  the  militia." 
If,  however,  he  could,  contrary  to  the  expectations  of  the  Committee,  "  raise  a  body 
of  volunteers,"  it  would  certainly  meet  with  their  "  approbation  and  thanks." 

In  a  circular  letter  of  instructions  issued  to  county  lieutenants  the  same  day 
(July  16th)  it  appears  that  Council  were  acting  with  great  promptness.  Lieutenants 
were  officially  informed  that  Colonel  Brodhead's  regiment,  then  on  the  march  to 
Pittsburg,  was  ordered  to  Standing  Stone;  that  part  of  Colonel  Hartley's  regiment, 
consisting  of  100  men,  was  then  on  the  march  to  Sunbury  via  Lancaster  and  Harris's 
Ferry,  to  be  joined  by  the  two  companies  raised  at  Wyoming.  The  remainder  of 
Colonel  Hartley's  regiment,  about  eighty  men,  was  moving  from  New  Jersey  to 
Easton,  where  they  would  unite  with  other  reinforcements.  Colonel  Hartley's  regi- 
nent  was  furnished  with  "  thirty  rounds  of  cartridges  a  man,"  and  had  with  them, 
besides  this  quantity,  10,000  spare  cartridges. 

Council  impressed  upon  county  lieutenants  the  fact  that  as  the  Indians  were 
moving  rapidly  down  the  river,  it  would  behoove  them  to  act  with  equal  celerity  to 
meet  and  repel  them,  and  thereby  encourage  the  people  to  proceed  to  their  abandoned 
homes,  while  thus  protected,  "  to  reap  their  harvests  in  safety."  As  the  Committee 
was  in  the  act  of  closing  the  circular,  intelligence  was  received  that  Colonel 
Mcintosh,  who  had  command  in  the  western  part  of  the  State,  having  become 
alarmed  at  the  movements  of  the  Indians,  had  ' '  ordered  Colonel  Brodhead's 
regiment  up  the  Susquehanna  river." 

On  the  20th  of  July  the  Board  of  War  informed  Council  that  their  reports  from 
the  frontiers  were  still  "of  the  most  alarming  nature."  The  Board  claimed  that 
it  had  done  everything  in  its  power  to  hasten  the  movement  of  troops,  and  until 
they  were  informed  what  was  wanted  in  the  way  of  supplies,  they  could  do  noth- 
ing more.  This  duty  devolved  on  Council.  The  Board  was  also  informed  that  there 
were  12,000  stands  of  arms  belonging  to  the  State  at  Allentown,  and  it  was  presumed 


— if  not  already  done — Council  had  made  requisition  for  the  quantity  required 
to  arm  the  militia.  On  their  request  the  Board  stood  ready  to  ' '  direct  the  com- 
missary general  of  military  stores  to  issue  such  quantities  of  ammunition  ' '  as  they 
thought  would  be  required  for  this  expedition. 


Colonel  Hunter' s  precipitate  action  in  ordering  the  evacuation  of  the  valley,  and 
thereby  making  the  "Big  Runaway''  possible,  has  always  been  a  subject  for  severe 
criticism.  Many  settlers  found  fault  with  him  on  that  account,  and  they  never  for- 
gave him.  It  was  argued  that  if  he  had  been  less  profuse  in  bluster  and  promise, 
and  had  taken  a  different  course  to  instill  confidence  in  the  minds  of  the  people,  and 
refrained  from  issuing  the  order  to  fly,  the  militia  and  inhabitants  were  strong 
enough  to  have  easily  resisted  the  enemy  and  held  them  at  bay  until  reinforcements 
arrived.  This  course  would  have  spared  the  people  great  losses  and  an  untold 
amount  of  suffering  and  misery.  It  is  true  the  action  of  Council  was  tardy  and 
vacillating,  but  with  all  that,  proper  encouragement  and  a  determined  effort,  such 
as  usually  grows  out  of  confidence,  might  have  resulted  in  averting  the  calamity. 
Samuel  Wallis  was  one  who  believed  Colonel  Hunter  acted  with  undue  haste  in  this 
matter.  He  was  represented  to  have  been  almost  frantic  with  excitement  on  the  first 
alarm,  and  when  Wallis  reached  Sunbury  in  obedience  to  Hunter's  order,  he  found 
that  he  not  only  had  sent  his  own  family  down  the  river  and  shipped  his  effects  from 
Fort  Augusta,  but  ivas  all  ready  himself  to  fly  on  further  alarm.  The  wonder  is 
he  did  not  lead  the  flying  column  to  Paxtang! 

Had  it  not  been  for  the  swift  movement  of  Colonel  Brodhead,  Wallis  believed 
that  not  ten  families  would  have  remained  in  the  county,  as  there  was  no  abatement 
in  the  panic.  He  (Wallis)  was  extremely  anxious  to  have  some  regular  troops  sent 
up  the  river,  as  he  had  but  little  confidence  in  the  militia.  Concerning  them  he 
thus  wrote: 

Such  confusion  has  already  happened  by  trusting  to  the  militia  here,  that  I  can  and  do 
declare  for  myself,  that  I  will  not  stay  a  single  moment  longer  than  I  can  help  after  being 
assured  that  we  are  to  be  protected  by  them  only.  We  were  amused  some  time  ago  by  a  resolve 
of  Congress  for  raising  100  six-months  men  in  this  county,  and  Colonel  Hunter  was 
pleased  to  assure  the  Council  that  the  men  would  be  readily  raised,  when  he  at  the  same  time 
knew,  and  was  pleased  to  declare,  in  private  conversation,  that  it  was  impossible  to  raise 
100  men  amongst  people  so  much  confused  and  alarmed.  This  kind  of  conduct  from  Col- 
onel Hunter,  as  well  as  a  number  of  our  other  leading  men,  has  brought  us  to  the  pass  you  now 
find  us,  and  unless  some  speedy  interposition  in  our  behalf,  I  do  again  with  great  confidence 
assure  you  that  we  shall  be  no  longer  a  people  in  this  county. 

From  the  tenor  of  this  letter  it  is  plain  that  he  did  not  have  an  exalted  opinion 
of  either  the  judgment  or  bravery  of  Colonel  Hunter,  whom  he  held  largely  respon- 
sible for  the  terribly  depressing  state  of  affairs  which  then  prevailad. 

Gen.  James  Potter,  who  had  been  absent  on  military  duty,  returned  to  his  place 
in  Penn's  Valley,  July  25,  1778.  He  immediately  wrote  the  authorities  that  many 
farmers  had  returned  to  reap  their  haiwests,  and  advocated  prompt  assistance.  Gen- 
eral Potter  estimated  the  loss  to  this  county  by  the  "Big  Runaway"  at  £40,000! 






His  Presence  Does  Much  to  Ixspiee  Co^tfidexce — G-exeeal  De  Haas  ant)  Coloxel  H-\bt- 
LET  Arrive — SEXsixrrE  Officers — Fort  Musct — Lack  of  Civxl  Law — The  Brady 
Tragedy — MirsiTioxs  axd  Mex — Huxtixg  Ixdiass — Grass  Cutters  Ejxled — Hartley's 
ExPEDiTiox — llorcY  Tow^'SHip  Assessment  List  for  1778 — Sextch  of  Colont:l  Hart- 
ley's Career. 

IN  the  early  part  of  August  the  panic  began  to  subside,  and  small  bands  of  set- 
tlers well  armed,  officered,  and  prepared  for  any  emergency,  began  to  creep  up 
the  valley.  They  came  to  look  after  their  deserted  homes  and  to  secure  cattle, 
horses,  and  other  eifects  that  had  been  left  behind.  They  found  a  few  small  bauds 
of  Indians  engaged  in  the  work  of  pillage  who  fled  on  their  approach.  Houses  and 
cabins  from  iluncy  to  Antes  Fort  had  been  burned.  At  Wallis's  and  Loyalsock 
there  was  much  destruction.  Wallis's  stone  house,  with  its  walls  three  feet  thick, 
was  too  strong  for  the  savages  to  destroy  and  it  stood  solitary  and  alone.  All  the 
out  buildings  were  reduced  to  ashes.  The  improvements  at  Lycoming  creek  had 
disappeared  or  were  greatly  damaged.  When  the  advance  party  reached  Robert 
King's  improvement  above  Level  Corner,  two  miles  east  of  Larry's  creek,  they  found 
the  remains  of  his  log  cabin  and  barn  yet  smoking.  Hurrying  on  to  Antes  Fort 
they  found  the  mill,  which  contained  a  small  quantity  of  grain  when  the  flight  com- 
menced, and  the  adjacent  buildings,  reduced  to  ashes.  The  smoldering  embers 
were  not  yet  extinct,  showing  that  the  Indians  had  only  been  there  a  short  time  be- 
fore their  arrival,  and  the  odor  of  burning  grain  tainted  the  atmosphere.  The  stock- 
ade or  fort,  which  was  constructed  of  heavy  logs,  could  not  be  burned,  and  it  stood 
there  as  firm  and  strong  as  when  first  erected. 

This  advance  party  collected  what  stock  they  could  and  drove  them  down  the 
valley  to  places  of  safety.  The  upper  part  of  what  is  now  this  county  presented  a 
sad  scene  of  desolation.  The  vandals  had  plied  their  work  more  industriously 
here  than  lower  down.  Blackened  spots  of  ground  marked  where  houses  and  barns 
had  stood  and  presented  a  strange  contrast  to  the  ripened  fields  of  golden  grain 
which  surrounded  them. 


Colonel  Brodhead  moved  more  swiftly  than  any  of  the  officers  who  were  to  take 
part  in  the  expedition.  Under  date  of  July  24,  1778,  he  writes  from  iluncy  stating 
that  when  he  reached  Sunbury  he  found  that  he  was  too  late  to  be  of  any  service  in 
assisting  the  people  at  Wyoming,  whither  he  had  been  ordered,  consequently  he  had 
come  to  this  place.  Finding  that  the  inhabitants  had  either  fled  or  were  flying,  he 
determined  "to  fix  on  two  principal  posts  and   keep  up  a  line  of  scouts  between 


them,"  but  had  found  his  plan  "impracticable  on  account  of  the  inaccessible 
mountains  and  thickets. "  His  scouts,  therefore,  were  "employed  in  watching  the 
Indian  paths,  and  scouting  so  far  towards  the  different  posts  as  it  was  practicable.'' 

He  had  with  him  at  Muncy,  which  is  supposed  to  have  been  Wallis's, 
125  men.  "  This  post,"  he  writes,  "  is  of  much  importance."  "  On  being  informed," 
he  says,  "  by  a  small  seont  that  the  enemy  were  burning  some  of  the  buildings  up 
the  West  Branch,  about  ten  miles  off,  I  sent  a  captain  and  thirty-nine  men  to 
endeavor  to  intercept  them;  they  returned  late  last  evening  and  reported  that  they 
found  several  places  where  the  Indians,  about  ten  in  number,  had  lain  and 
slaughtered  swine,  sheep,  and  cattle.  Part  of  the  swine  were  used  by  the  savages 
and  part  carried  off.  The  buildings  of  several  of  the  inhabitants  were  burning 
when  the  captain  reached  that  place.  He  pursued  their  tracks  until  they  had  left 
the  'purchase'  before  he  returned,  but  could  not  come  up  with  them." 

This  was  at  Lycoming  creek,  which  was  the  boundary  line  of  the  "  purchase," 
and  it  was  just  ten  miles  west  of  where  Colonel  Brodhead  had  established  his  head- 
quarters. The  Indians  operated  in  small  bands,  which  enabled  them  to  move 
quickly,  to  disperse,  and  hide  in  the  thickets  on  the  approach  of  a  superior  force. 

Colonel  Brodhead  and  his  force  were  closely  watched,  for  he  obseiwes:  "Last 
evening  one  of  my  sentinels,  at  this  post,  discovered  an  Indian  approaching  in  a 
skulking  manner  towards  him.  At  the  distance  of  150  yards  he  fired  at  him,  when 
the  Indian  ran  ofE."  Colonel  Brodhead  remarked  further  that,  "  great  numbers  of 
the  inhabitants  are  now  collected  in  large  bodies  reaping  their  harvests."  He 
found  this  country  "  a  really  fertile  one,"  but  as  he  could  remain  with  the  distressed 
people  but  a  few  days,  and  his  anxiety  for  them  was  daily  increased,  "unless  they 
meet  with  timely  succor  the  country  will  be  once  more  evacuated." 

The  presence  of  Colonel  Brodhead  inspired  confidence  among  the  people,  but  as 
he  was  under  orders  to  execute  a  movement  in  the  western  part  of  the  State,  he 
could  not  remain  long.  That  his  efforts  were  appreciated  by  the  inhabitants  is 
apparent  from  the  following  extract  from  a  petition  to  the  Supreme  Executive 
Council,  dated  Muncy,  June  10,  1778: 

Upon  being  informed  of  the  melancholy  event  of  the  26th  of  June  last  at  Wyoming,  the 
few  militia  which  were  stationed  at  the  little  stands  through  the  county  were  called  into  the 
town  of  Sunbury,  which  so  much  alarmed  the  country  that  every  inhabitant  without  exception 
were  flying  from  the  county,  when  they  were  informed  that  Colonel  Brodhead,  at  the  head  of  the 
Eighth  Pennsylvania  regiment,  who  was  with  General  Jlclntosh  on  his  march  to  the  westward, 
and  who  at  his  own  particular  instance  had  obtained  a  permit  from  the  General  to  come  from 
Carlisle  to  their  relief.  This  account  gave  new  life  to  the  sinking  spirits  of  such  of  the  inhab- 
itants as  had  not  gone  too  far  with  their  families  to  return,  and  induced  3'our  petitioners  once 
more  to  attempt  a  stand;  but  are  at  the  same  time  under  the  greatest  apprehensions  of  dan- 
ger when  they  are  informed  by  the  Colonel  that  he  has  no  orders  to  stay  amongst  them. 

Therefore,  in  consideration  of  the  premises,  your  petitioners  humbly  pray  that  you  in  your 
wisdom  will  take  the  distressed  situation  of  this  countj-  into  your  serious  consideration,  and,  if 
an  application  to  Congress  be  necessary,  to  obtain  an  order  to  continue  Colonel  Brodhead's 
regiment  or  some  other  Continental  troops  among  them;  that  you,  as  the  fathers  and  guardians 
of  the  people,  will  interpose  and  give  them  every  assistance  which  to  you  in  your  wisdom  may 
seem  meet. 

The  following  names  were  appended  to  the  petition:  Nimrod  Pennington,  Peter 
Burns,  John  Hollingswoith,  Erasmus  Boerscb,  Zachariah  Tiig,  Daniel  John,  Samuel 


Wallis,  David  Berry,  Joseph  Webster,  Joseph  Arbour,  Albert  Polhamus,  Peter  Cor- 
ter,  William  Jones,  William  Hepburn,  Matthew  Blekley,  Paul  Eieketts,  Peter 
Jones,  Michael  Coryell,  Lott  Bottman,  Joseph  Hall,  Richard  Sutton,  Albert  Coven- 
hoven,  Ludwig  Bottman,  Ebenezer  Green,  Jr. ,  Benjamin  Lauden,  Ezer  Green,  John 
Patton,  Jacob  Lawrenson,  Edward  Rardon,  James  Giles,  Henry  Silverthorn,  Jacob 
Cotner,  John  White,  Oliver  Silverthorn,  John  Brady,  Joseph  Craft,  Samuel  Brady, 
John  Hall,  James  Patten,  David  Austin,  James  Brady,  Powell  Sheep,  Jerome 
Feneet,  Caleb  Knap,  Joshua  Knap,  Peter  Smith,  Paul  Sheep,  Ebenezer  Green, 
Benjamin  Green,  James  Brady,  Jr.,  Daniel  Hill,  Henry  Hill,  Samuel  Armstrong, 
Thomas  Oliver,  Philip  Adams,  John  Hill,  William'  Watson,  John  Humpton,  Joseph 
Newman,  James  Hampton,  Thomas  Johnson,  George  Silverthorn,  Ovukney  Seph- 
enstopeson,  George  Barclay,  John  Corunnory,  Robert  Covenhoven,  James  Coven- 
hoven,  Frederick  Leaf,  James  Hepburn,  Stephen  Chambers,  Thomond  Ball. 

General  Armstrong,  writing  to  Vice-President  Bryan  from  Carlisle  under  date  of 
July  24th,  expressed  his  belief  ' '  that  the  whole  of  the  Indian  tribes  have  not  yet 
taken  up  the  hatchet  against  us,"  otherwise  their  attacks  would  have  been  more 
vigorous.  He  was  of  the  opinipn  that  the  blow  at  Wyoming  was  the  ' '  plain  result 
of  British  virulence  ;"  that  the  expedition  was  "planned,  commanded,  and,  in  part, 
executed  by  whites."  "It  is  also  natural  to  suppose,"  he  continues,  "that  the 
expense  is  paid  by  Britain,  and  the  plunder  promised  to  the  savages,  which  among 
other  reasons,  induces  me  to  believe  they  will  in  a  short  time  return."  He  did  not 
think  it  was  "  altogether  visionary  to  believe  that  this  infamous  descent  had  been 
designed  as  a  stratagem  in  aid  of  the  British  arms  for  the  purpose  of  leading  Congress 
more  readily  to  listen  to  terms  of  peace." 

Colonel  Brodhead  left  the  valley  in  the  early  part  of  August  and  resumed  his 
western  march.  The  first  militia  to  arrive  at  Sunbury  were  under  Gen.  John  P. 
De  Haas,  who,  it  will  be  remembered,  had  offered  to  command  a  body  of  volunteers 
on  the  13th  of  July.  Council  had  accepted  his  services,  and  while  he  remaineed  he 
rendered  valuable  assistance  in  the  work  of  reorganizing  and  stationing  the  troops 
for  defensive  purposes. 


August  1,  1778,  Col.  Thomas  Hartley  reported  from  Sunbury  that  he  had 
arrived  there  a  few  days  before  with  a  detachment  of  his  regiment  and  some  militia. 
He  mentioned  that  he  had  found  General  De  Haas  there,  who  "  had  come  up  (I  pre- 
sume) with  an  intention  of  assisting  and  supporting  the  people.  He  had  detached 
sundry  parties  of  militia  for  that  purpose. "  Here  we  have  an  outcropping  of  that 
sensitive  feeling  which  so  often  prevails  among  officers  regarding  rank.  If  Colonel 
Hartley  had  not  felt  that  way  he  would  not  have  said  in  his  report,  when  referring 
to  General  De  Haas,  that  "  I  presume  he  is  here  for  such  a  purpose." 

General  Potter,  also  writing  from  Sunbury  August  1st,  says  :  "I  came  here  last 
week  to  station  the  militia.  I  found  General  De  Haas  here,  who  said  he  commanded 
all  the  troops.  The  next  day  Colonel  Hartley  came  and  showed  me  his  orders  to 
command  the  troops,  and  politely  requested  me  to  take  the  command,  which  I 
declined,  as  I  never  was  very  fond  of  command,  and  this  is  a  disagreeable  one.  I 
rather  chose  to  act  as  a  private  gentleman,  and  do  all  the  good  in  my  power  ;  but 
people  will   make  observations." 


Colonel  Hartley  was  surprised  at  the  destitution  and  ■wretchedness  of  the  people, 
caused  by  the  "Big  Runaway,"  and  he  makes  reference  to  them  in  these  words  : 
' '  Four-fifths  of  the  inhabitants  fled  with  such  effects  as  they  could  carry  from  this 
county.  Many  of  the  men  are  returning,  but  unless  I  can  support  four  or  five  posts 
between  the  Great  Island  and  Fishing  creek,  I  fear  few  of  the  women  will  return 
again  to  their  former  habitations.  A  most  extraordinary  panic  seems  to  have  struck 
the  people." 


Colonel  Hartley  did  not  remain  at  Sunbury  long.  In  company  with  General 
De  Haas,  he  proceeded  up  the  West  Branch  to  survey  the  country  and  ascertain 
where  it  would  be  best  to  establish  posts.  They  had  all  the  force  with  them  that 
was  available  and  they  kept  a  sharp  lookout  for  Indians.  Above  Wallis's  farm  they 
found  a  few  settlers  who  had  returned,  but  they  were  "wavering  and  doubtful." 
Straggling  Indians  were  seen  almost  daily.  After  a  careful  examination  of  the 
country  they  found  no  one  of  the  dwelling  houses  that  had  escaped  destruction  so 
situated  that  they  could  be  fortified,  or  made  the  nucleus  for  a  post  of  any  kind. 
It  was  clear  that  a  post  should  be  established  near  the  dwelling  house  of  Samuel 
Wallis.  It  stood  in  the  most  thickly  settled  part  of  the  valley,  and  for  miles  up  the 
river  the  country  was  inviting.  The  large  streams  falhng  into  the  river  from  the 
north,  along  which  Indian  paths  ran,  made  it  necessary  to  have  a  force  of  men  cen- 
trally located  so  that  they  would  be  in  easy  reach  if  the  enemy  was  found  descend- 
ing any  of  these  streams  in  force.     Concerning  the  location  Colonel  Hartley  wrote : 

The  inhabitants  strong  pressed  that  they  should  have  troops  amongst  them,  and  that  some 
fortress  should  be  built  to  cover  that  part  of  the  countrj'  and  aiford  an  asylum  to  their  families 
incase  of  necessity.  General  De  Haas  and  several  other  gentlemen  were  with  me;  we  consid- 
ered and  examined  on  all  sides — we  found  none  of  the  houses  properly  situated  to  admit  of  a 
stockade  fort  of  any  real  use.  We  found  these  settlements  in  danger.  They  were  useful  from 
their  fertility  of  soil  and  the  industry  of  the  inhabitants,  besides  being  the  frontier;  for,  if 
these  people  once  gave  way  there  would  not  long  be  an  inliabitant  above  Sunbury  or  Northum- 
berland; a  valuable  country  would  be  depopulated,  and  some  thousands  of  persons  ruined. 
Added  to  this,  if  the  settlements  towards  the  Bald  Eagle  and  Great  Island  were  to  return  and 
to  be  covered  and  supported,  there  was  a  necessity  for  a  secure  post  about  midway.  Upon  the 
whole,  we  were  clearly  of  opinion  that  a  fort  ought  to  be  built  near  Samuel  Wallis's,  about 
two  miles  from  Muncy  creek.    I  therefore  directed  one  to  be  laid  out  accordingly. 

The  site  having  been  selected,  Capt.  Andrew  Walker  was  directed  to  take  his 
company  and  erect  a  defensive  work  as  quickly  as  possible.  The  location  was  on  a 
knoll  a  few  hundred  yards  north  by  east  of  the  Wallis  dwelling,  and  was  an  excel- 
lent one,  as  it  was  high  enough  to  afford  a  good  view  of  the  surrounding  country. 
At  the  base  of  the  knoll  was  a  good  spring  of  water.  That  spring  is  there  to-day 
and  a  large  elm  spreads  its  branches  over  it. 

Captain  Walker  and  his  men  went  to  work  with  a  will,  and  they  made  such  rapid 
progress  that  on  the  Ist  of  September  Colonel  Hartley  wrote  from  Sunbury  to  the 
authorities  at  Philadelphia,  stating  that  the  work  of  building  the  fort  had  been 
pushed  with  such  vigor  that  it  was  nearly  completed.  He  was  greatly  pleased  at 
the  indtistry  and  skill  shown  by  Captain  Walker  and  his  men.  "I  never  before" 
he  says,  ' '  saw  so  much  done  by  so  few  hands  in  so  short  a  time.  We  have  a  four- 
pounder  mounted,  and  if  we  had  four  swivels  to  place  on  the  bastions,  the  place 
would  be  very  secure  with  a  small  garrison. ' ' 


This  new  and  impoi-tant  defensive  work,  the  only  one  in  this  county  erected 
under  the  direction  of  military  officers  and  by  military  authority,  was  named  Fort 
Muncy,  in  honor  of  the  valley  and  the  farm  on  which  it  stood.  It  was  about  three 
miles  west  of  the  borough  of  Muncy  and  ten  miles  east  of  Williamsport.  Next  to 
Eort  Augusta,  it  was  the  most  important  stronghold  in  the  West  Branch  valley. 
The  bastions  were  built  of  fascines  and  clay  and  the  curtains  were  protected  by 
stockades,  in  which  quarters  for  the  men  were  erected.  It  is  regretted  that  nothing 
has  been  left  on  record  showing  its  size  and  cost.  Colonel  Hartley  says  that  the 
"militia  and  inhabitants,"  assisted  his  men  in  the  work  of  construction.  It  con- 
tinued to  be  a  post  of  great  importance  for  several  years,  and  as  late  as  1782,  as  will 
hereafter  be  shown,  it  was  used  as  a  place  of  rendezvous  for  troops. 

All  traces  of  this  stronghold  have  long  since  been  wiped  out.  When  the  exten- 
sion of  the  Philadelphia  and  Reading  railroad  was  built  to  Williamsport,  the  knoll 
on  which  it  stood  was  cut  through.  The  excavation  is  deep,  and  passengers  can  not 
fail  to  notice  it  on  account  of  the  view  of  the  old  mansion  house  to  the  south  being 
suddenly  shut  off  when  the  train  dashes  into  the  cut. 

A  covered  way  led  to  the  spring  at  the  foot  of  the  hill  for  the  protection  of  par- 
ties going  for  water.  There  is  no  evidence  that  there  was  a  well  inside  the  enclosure, 
but  it  is  likely  there  was,  for  a  work  of  that  kind  would  certainly  not  be  left  without 
such  a  convenience  in  case  of  siege.  To  the  east  and  southeast  there  was  a  growth 
of  heavy  timber,  but  south,  north,  and  west,  the  ground  was  cleared.  There  were 
cultivated  fields  to  the  west  and  north,  for  even  at  that  early  day  Mr.  Wallis  was 
carrying  on  farming  on  a  large  scale  and  rapidly  extending  his  improvements. 

For  some  time  before  Colonel  Hartley  and  his  officers  selected  the  site  for  the 
fort,  Samuel  Wallis  had  been  urging  the  authorities  to  build  a  defensive  work  there, 
and  in  a  letter  to  Timothy  Matlack  under  date  of  August  8th,  he  expressed  his  grat- 
ification that  it  had  been  commenced. 

Colonel  Hartley  remained  at  Sunbury  several  days  awaiting  orders  and  supplies 
for  his  contemplated  expedition  into  the  Indian  country.  On  the  10th  of  August 
he  wrote  that  he  had  disposed  of  the  militia  at  different  posts,  and  every  man  of  his 
regiment  who  could  possibly  go  had  been  sent  in  some  direction.  "We  have  lent 
every  aid  to  reap  and  get  in  the  harvest;  much  more  will  be  saved  than  I 
could  possibly  have  imagined."  Berks  county  had  furnished  its  quota  of  militia, 
but  he  was  sorry  to  say  that  Lancaster  county  had  fallen  far  short.  As  Xorthumber- 
land  county  was  so  "  distracted  and  distressed,"  Little  aid  could  be  expected.  As 
many  of  the  inhabitants  who  had  iied  had  not  returned,  few  men  could  be  found  to 
serve  in  the  militia.  In  this  letter  he  spoke  of  enclosing  a  "  rough  plan ' '  of  Muncy 
fort,  but  it  has  been  lost. 

At  this  time  no  women  or  children  had  ventured  to  return.  As  the  Indians  had 
gained  so  much  plunder  by  their  previous  raid,  he  expected  they  would  soon  return. 
He  had  no  trouble  with  the  militia  and  spoke  well  of  them.  ' '  It  will  be  necessary," 
he  thought,  "to  have  at  least  two  iron  four  or  six  pounders"  for  Fort  Muncy,  and 
"  ten  or  twelve  swivels."  These  guns  he  asked  Council  to  have  forwarded  to  "  Coxe's 
Town  as  soon  as  possible,"  from  whence  he  would  "endeavor  to  get  them  up  by 
water  or  some  other  means."  The  militia  of  the  county  were  "poor  indeed." 
Many  of  them  complained   "  of  having  four  or  five  months'  pay  due  to  them."     If 


they  could  get  this  money,  he  believed,  it  would  afford  great  relief.  The  time  con- 
sumed in  protecting  the  harvesters  had  prevented  him  "  from  sending  a  detach- 
ment on  the  Indian  paths,"  but  he  hoped  to  be  ready  to  move  in  a  short  time. 
Col.  Henry  Antes  bore  this  report  to  the  Supreme  Executive  Council,  and  he  noted 
therein  that  he  would  be  able  to  give  them  "further  information." 

Samuel  Wallis,  wi-iting  to  a  member  of  Council,  said  that  Colonel  Brodhead's 
regiment  "  did  great  service,"  and  he  was  much  pleased  with  Colonel  Hartley.  Re- 
ferring to  the  order  of  Council  requiring  a  quota  of  300  militia  from  Northumber- 
land county,  he  was  at  a  loss  to  know  "  what  kind  of  intelligeuce  "  they  had  from 
this  section.  For  he  was  sure  if  they  "  had  been  well  informed  of  the  distressed, 
distracted,  and  confused  situation,"  from  "which  the  people  have  not  yet  recovered, 
they  would  have  judged  it  impossible  to  call  for  300  of  our  militia."  Bt^t  as  the 
Committee  were  safely  ensconced  in  Philadelphia,  it  is  doubtful  if  they  ever  real- 
ized for  a  moment  the  extent  of  the  destitution  and  misery  of  the  people  here.  If 
fhey  had  had  a  just  conception  of  the  condition  of  affairs  they  never  would  have 
asked  for  300  men,  when  there  was  less  than  that  number  in  the  whole  county. 

Colonel  Hartley  called  the  attention  of  the  Council  to  the  great  distress  they  were 
in  "'for  want  of  medicine  chests  for  the  militia."'  The  small  quantity  brought  for 
the  use  of  his  own  regiment  had  been  cheerfully  divided,  but  the  sick  and  wounded 
of  the  inhabitants  and  militia  were  constantly  increasing,  and  more  medicine  was 
required.  He  begged  Council  to  immediately  send  a  well  tilled  medicine  chest  to 
Coxes' s  Town  and  he  would  see  to  having  it  forwarded.  Most  of  the  stores  he  had 
brought  with  him  were  exhausted,  and  he  desired  to  impress  upon  Council  the  fact 
that  they  were  "now  destitute  of  most  of  the  conveniences  of  life,"  but,  he  patriot- 
ically observed,  "  We  shall  with  pleasure  submit  to  every  inconvenience,  as  we  have 
a  prospect  of  being  useful  to  our  country."  Of  such  material  were  patriots  made  in 
the  dark  days  when  they  were  struggling  for  liberty  and  independence. 

LACK    or    CIVIL    LAW. 

The  demoralized  condition  of  the  people  at  this  time  also  interfered  with  the  civil 
administration  of  affairs.  The  courts  were  broken  up.  On  the  Sth  of  August  the 
justices  of  the  courts  through  Thomond  Ball,  deputy  prothontaiy,  notified  the  pres- 
ident of  the  State  Council  that  business  was  much  impeded  for  want  of  an  attor- 
ney to  prosecute  for  the  Commonwealth;  that  it  was  the  second  court  at  which  no 
State  attorney  had  appeared,  and  many  persons  had  to  be  admitted  to  bail;  that  the 
long  suspension  of  justice,  from  February,  1776,  to  November,  1777,  had  rendered 
the  people  licentious  enough,  and  a  further  delay  of  executing  the  laws  must  lead 
them  to  lengths  too  difficult  to  be  recalled;  tippling  house  keepers,  the  notorious  pro- 
moters of  vice  and  immorality,  remained  unpunished,  though  frequently  returned,  for 
want  of  an  indictment;  that  there  were  two  prisoners  for  murder,  one  was  admitted 
to  bail  and  the  other  in  close  confinement,  who  should  be  brought  to  trial. 

In  the  meantime  work  was  rapidly  progressing  at  Fort  Muncy;  and  though  late 
in  the  season,  efforts  were  made  by  harvesters  to  gather  what  grain  they  could.  Noth- 
ing serious  occurred  till  the  Sth  of  August.  On  this  day  a  corporal  and  four  men 
belonging  to  Colonel  Hartley's  regiment  with  three  militiamen,  were  detailed  to  guard 
"  fourteen  reapers  and  cradlers,  who  were  also  armed,  to  cut  the  grain  of  an  unhappy 


man,  who  had  lost  his  wife  and  four  children,  murdered  by  the  Indians."  The  "  un- 
fortunate man  "  was  Peter  Smith,  who  drove  his  wagon  into  the  Indian  ambuscade  in 
the  plum  tree  thicket  on  the  10th  of  June,  near  Lycoming  creek  and  a  massacre  occiu'red. 
His  farm  was  on  the  river,  a  short  distance  west  of  Loyalsock  creek,  and  the  field  can 
be  pointed  out  to  this  day.  Smith  was  from  Hunterdon  county,  New  Jersey.  A  little 
stream  of  water,  now  known  as  "  Bull  run,"  ran  through  his  improvement.  The 
only  names  of  the  twenty-two  men  engaged  in  this  harvesting  party  that  have  been 
preserved,  are  those  of  the  owner  of  the  crop,  Peter  Smith,  James  Brady,  and  Jerome 
Van  Ness.  The  other  nineteen  are  lost.  Of  this  number,  it  will  be  borne  in  mind, 
eight  were  soldiers.  It  was  the  custom  at  that  time,  when  a  working  party  was  not 
accompanied  by  a  commissioned  officer,  to  select  one  as  a  "leader,"  who  was  called 
"Captain,"  and  obeyed  accordingly.  Young  Brady,  on  account  of  his  shrewdness, 
bravery,  and  dash,  was  chosen  to  fill  this  position. 


According  to  Colonel  Hartley's  official  account  of  the  affair  the  party  proceeded 
to  the  farm  "on  Friday  (August  7th)  and  cut  the  greater  part  of  the  grain."  They 
intended  to  have  finished  the  job  next  morning,  but  during  the  night  "  four  of  the 
reapers  improperly  moved  off."  This  left  but  eighteen,  all  told,  on  the  ill-fated 

The  next  morning,  Saturday,  the  harvesters  went  to  work;  "the  cradlers,  four  in' 
number,  by  themselves,  near  the  house;  the  reapers  somewhat  distant.  The  reapers, 
except  young  Brady,  placed  their  guns  round  a  tree."  He  thought  this  was  "  wrong 
and  put  his  gun  some  little  distance  from  the  rest."  Had  they  obeyed  him  they 
might  have  fared  better.  "  The  morning,' '  observes  Colonel  Hartley,  ' '  was  very 
foggy."  The  party  had  gone  to  work  very  early  it  appears,  for  "about  an  hour 
after  sunrise  the  reapers  and  sentry  were  surprised  by  a  number  of  Indians  under 
cover  of  the  fog.  The  sentry  retired  towards  the  reapers,"  and  they,  "  all  except 
Brady,  began  to  retire  immediately.  He  ran  for  his  rifle,  pursued  by  three  Indians, 
and  when  within  a  few  rods  of  it  was  wounded  by  a  shot.  He  ran  for  some  distance 
and  fell,  when  he  received  another  wound  from  a  spear,  was  tomahawked,  and  scalped 
in  an  instant." 

His  scalp  was  considered  a  fine  trophy  by  the  Indians,  as  he  had  very  long  and 
bright  red  hair.  After  it  was  removed,  tradition  says  a  little  Indian  rushed  up  and 
struck  him  four  times  on  the  head  with  his  tomahawk. 

"The  sentry,"  continues  the  report,  "fired  his  gun,  but  was  soon  after  shot 
down,  as  was  also  a  militiaman.  Another  militiaman  was  missing,  supposed  to  be 
killed."  The  cradlers,  on  hearing  the  noise  of  the  attack,  ran  and  ascended  a  hill 
in  rear  of  the  field,  from  whence  they  had  a  view  of  what  the  Indians  were  doing. 
Evidently  fearing  an  attack,  "the  Indians  in  a  few  seconds  left  the  field."  "  The 
corporal  and  three  men,  who  were  with  the  cradlers,  proposed  to  make  a  stand,  but 
they  thought  it  imprudent."  The  cradlers  then  fled  rapidly  and  made  their  way  to 
Wallis's  to  give  the  alarm.  The  corporal  and  his  "  three  men  then  pushed  right 
down  the  road.  At  Loyalsock  they  were  fired  upon  by  the  Indians,  but  on  returning 
the  fire  the  Indians  fled,  and  the  soldiers  retook  two  horses  from  them,  which  they 
carried  to  Wallis's." 


James  Brady,  when  he  recovered  consciousness,  rose  from  where  he  had  fallen 

and  made  his  way  to  the  house.  Being  scalped  he  presented  a  pitiable  appearance, 
and  he  was  very  weak  from  the  loss  of  blood,  his  wounds  having  bled  profusely. 
He  found  Jerome  Van  Ness  at  the  house,  who  had  accompanied  the  party  for  the 
purpose  of  preparing  their  meals.  He  dressed  his  wounds  as  best  he  could,  when 
Brady  begged  him  to  leave  him,  but  he  refused. 

As  soon  as  news  of  the  attack  reached  Captain  Walker,  who  was  busy  superin- 
tending the  erection  of  Fort  Muncy,  he  immediately  went  in  pursuit  of  the  savages 
with  a  strong  force:  "  but  they  had  gained  too  much  time,"  and  were  safe  in  the 
mountains.  It  was  tliought  there  were  about  thirty  Indians  in  the  party,  and  it  is 
likely  they  had  remained  in  concealment  during  the  night  for  the  purpose  of  attack- 
ing the  harvesters  in  the  morning;  and,  finding  the  party  divided,  they  selected  the 
weakest  squad  and  made  the  assault  quickly  and  then  fled.  The  presence  of  Cap- 
tain "Walker's  force  at  the  fort  was  a  menace  to  them,  and  no  doubt  prevented  them. 
from  doing  further  damage. 

When  Captain  Walker  arrived  on  the  ground  and  saw  the  condition  of  Brady, 
he  quickly  made  arrangements  to  send  him  to  Sunbury  for  treatment.  A  bier  was 
hastily  constructed  and  he  was  carried  to  the  river  and  placed  in  a  canoe,  and  a 
party  of  men  started  with  him  down  the  river. 

The  foregoing  account  of  this  unfortunate  and  sad  affair  is  drawn  from  Colonel 
Hartley's  official  report,  and  as  it  was  written  at  Sunbury,  it  is  lacking  in  detail. 
Other  accounts  represent  that  when  Brady  ran  from  his  pursaers  he  succeeded  in 
seizing  his  gun,  and  wheeling  shot  one  of  them  dead.  He  was  then  shot  through 
the  arm.  and  stumbling  over  a  sheaf  of  wheat  was  pounced  upon,  tomahawked,  and 
scalped  before  he  could  rise.  Another  account  says  that  after  shooting  the  first 
Indian,  he  grasped  his  gun  as  he  fell,  and  shot  another  before  he  was  overcome. 
These  are  traditionary  stories  unsupported  by  corroborative  evidence,  and  are  likely 
to  be  exaggerations  of  the  fight.  Brady,  however,  was  very  athletic  and  strong,  and 
no  doubt  sold  his  life  as  dearly  as  possible. 

Tradition  also  says  that  when  he  recovered  consciousness  he  succeeded  by  walking 
and  creeping  on  his  hands  and  feet  in  reaching  the  cabin  of  Van  Ness.  On  hearing 
the  firing  he  had  concealed  himself,  but  seeing  Brady  approaching  in  his  terribly 
wounded  condition,  came  forth  from  his  concealment  and  went  to  his  assistance. 
After  aiding  him  all  he  could,  Brady  begged  him  to  fly,  as  the  Indians  would  prob- 
ably return  and  kill  him.  Van  Ness  refused  and  insisted  on  remaining  by  his  side. 
Brady  then  requested  to  be  helped  to  the  river' s  edge,  when  he  drank  copiously  of 
water.  Then  begging  Van  Ness  to  bring  his  gun  he  lay  down  and  fell  into  a  doze. 
When  Captain  Walker  approached  the  noise  awoke  him,  and  jumping  to  his  feet, 
thinking  Indians  were  near,  cocked  his  gun  and  prepared  to  shoot.  Finding  the 
party  was  composed  of  fi'iends  he  requested  to  be  taken  to  Sunbury,  where  his 
mother  was.  having  fled  thither  with  her  family  in  the  '"Big  Eunaway."  He  was 
as  well  cared  for  as  it  was  possible;  a  canoe  was  provided  and  he  was  placed  aboard 
and  a  few  friends  started  with  him.  Robert  Covenhoven  was  one  of  the  number.  On 
the  way  down  he  thirsted  greatly  for  water,  and  before  reaching  Sunbury  became 
delirious.  He  seemed  to  be  suffering  from  concussion  of  the  brain,  caused  by  the 
Tiolent  stroke  of  the  tomahawk. 


It  was  nearly  midnight  when  they  reached  Sunbury,  but  his  mother  having 
received  news  of  their  coming,  was  at  the  landing  to  receive  them  and  assisted  to 
carry  her  wounded  son  to  the  house.  He  was  a  pitiable  object  to  behold,  and  the 
grief  of  the  mother  was  very  great.  The  young  Captain  lived  five  days,  which  would 
make  his  death  as  occurring  on  the  13th  of  August,  1778,  he  having  received  his 
wounds  on  the  8th.  On  the  day  he  died  his  reason  returned  for  a  short  time  and  he 
described  with  great  minuteness  the  bloody  scene  through  which  he  had  passed. 
Early  writers  have  stated  that  he  said  Chief  Bald  Eagle  was  the  leader  of  the 
Indians,  and  scalped  him.  But  it  was  afterwards  proved  that  he  was  mistaken. 
Bald  Eagle  had  been  dead  several  years  before  this  bloody  affair  occurred.  He  was 
killed  on  the  Ohio  river  above  the  mouth  of  the  Kanawha,  his  body  placed  upright 
in  a  canoe,  which  was  sent  adrift,  and  in  this  position  he  was  found  floating  down 
the  stream.  This  discovery  also  destroyed  the  pretty  romance  indulged  in  by  so 
many  writers  that  Capt.  Sam  Brady  afterwards  avenged  the  death  of  his  brother  by 
shooting  Bald  Eagle  through  the  heart  on  the  Allegheny  river. 

The  death  of  young  Brady  under  such  sad  circumstances  caused  much  sorrow. 
He  was  the  second  sou  of  Capt.  John  and  Mary  (Quigley)  Brady,  born  in  1758, 
while  his  parents  resided  at  Shippensburg,  and  he  was  in  his  twenty-first  year  at  the 
time  of  his  death.  He  came  with  his  parents  to  their  stockade  house  at  Muncy 
some  time  in  1775,  and  from  that  time  he  was  a  participant  in  many  stirring  advent- 
ures along  the  river.  As  nearly  as  can  be  told  the  spot  where  he  was  stricken  down 
and  scalped,  is  now  occupied  by  the  saw  mill  of  Ezra  Canfield,  a  short  distance  west 
of  the  mouth  of  Loyalsack  creek.  He  was  buried  at  Sunbury,  but  all  trace  of  his 
grave  has  long  since  been  lost. 

Jerome  Van  Ness,  who  first  cared  for  the  young  hero  after  he  had  received  his 
death  wounds,  was  the  same  man  who  had  settled  on  and  improved  sixty-seven  acres 
of  Muncy  manor  before  it  was  surveyed  in  1 776.  He  must  have  been  seventy  years 
of  age  at  the  time  of  the  attack  on  the  reapers,  for,  according  to  Rev.  John  Bodine 
Thomson,  the  records  show  that  he  was  baptized  in  the  old  Dutch  Church  of  the 
North  Branch  of  the  Earitan,  New  Jersey,  August  6,  1706.  What  became  of  him 
is  unknown. 

Many  anecdotes  of  the  illustrious  Brady  family  have  been  preserved,  and  one 
in  particular  relating  to  James  is  worth  noticing  in  this  connection.  John  Bucka- 
low,  son-in-law  of  Mordecai  McKinney,  was  one  of  the  early  settlers  on  Muncy 
manor.  His  family  was  intimate  with  the  Bradys,  being  near  neighbors.  At  that 
time  it  was  the  custom  for  the  men  to  wear  long  hair,  plaited,  and  tied  behind  the 
head.  James  had  a  luxuriant  and  remarkably  fine  head  of  bright  red  hair.  One 
afternoon  "the  young  'Captain'  of  the  Susquehanna,"  with  several  others,  was  at  the 
house  of  Mr.  Buckalow.  Mrs.  Buckalow  "done  up"  Brady's  hair.  He  was  lively 
and  full  of  humor  at  the  time.  While  at  work  Mrs.  Buckalow  remarked :  "  Ah !  Jim, 
I  fear  the  Indians  will  get  this  red  scalp  of  yours  yet."  "  If  they  do,"  he  face- 
tiously replied,  "  It  will  make  them  a  bright  light  of  a  dark  night!"  In  less  than  a 
month  the  noble  youth  fell  beneath  the  tomahawk,  and  the  savages  had  his  scalp ! 

Hugh  Brady,  who  afterwards  rose  to  the  distinguished  position  of  a  major 
general  in  the  United  States  Army,  had  great  respect  and  admiration  for  his  elder 
brother  James,  and  in  his  reminiscences  of  the  family  thus  spoke  of  him:    "  James 


Brady  was  a  remarkable  man.  Xature  had  dooe  much  for  him.  His  person  was 
fine.  He  lacked  but  a  quarter  of  an  inch  of  six  feet,  and  his  mind  was  as  well 
finished  as  his  person.  I  have  ever  placed  him  by  the  side  of  Jonathan,  son  of  Saul, 
for  beauty  of  person  and  nobleness  of  soul,  and  like  him  he  fell  by  the  hands  of  the 

iirXITIOXS    AXD    MES. 

On  the  15th  of  August  Council  informed  Colonel  Hartley  that  according  to  the 
idea  entertained  by  Congress  regarding  fortifications  in  the  interior,  no  expense 
could  be  incurred  in  erecting  them.  He  was  at  liberty,  however,  to  place  these 
"temporary  forts,"  where,  in  his  judgment,  he  deemed  best.  Furthermore,  Council 
was  '•  sorry  to  inform  "  him  that  they  saw  no  probability  of  being  able  to  furnish  the 
cannon  he  asked  for  Fort  Muncy,  as  "  the  fitting  out  of  privateers  had  taken  all  the 
small  cannon  that  could  be  had  by  any  means,  and  to  get  them  made  would  be  a 
work  of  too  much  time. "'  The  medicine  had  been  forwarded,  but  "  the  stores "'  had 
not.  ■'  The  distress  for  want  of  money  can  not  be  relieved  at  present.  We  have 
pressed  Congress  on  this  subject  for  some  time  past,  and  have  earnestly  solicited 
assistance  from  the  Board  of  War.  but  without  success."'  To  the  militiBmen  in  the 
field  who  had  not  been  paid  for  months  this  was  not  encoui'aging,  but  to  keep  up 
hope  Council  added,  "  it  shall  be  sent  forward  as  soon  as  it  can  be  obtained."' 

Colonel  Hunter,  after  Colonel  Hartley  took  charge,  remained  silent  for  a  long 
time,  for,  at  least,  nothing  appears  from  him  on  the  records  till  the  20th  of  August. 
At  this  date  he  notifies  Council  that  ' '  agreeable  to  the  resolve  of  Congress  of  the 
Sth  of  June,"'  and  the  "instructions  of  Coancil  of  the  lUth,"  he  had  raised  a  com- 
pany of  about  sixty  men  to  serve  for  six  mouths,  appointed  the  officers,  and  they 
are  now  doing  duty.  The  expense  of  raising  the  company  was  large.  "  as  each  man 
provided  himself  with  a  good  rifle  and  accoutrements."  For  this  service  the  men 
were  to  have  "eighty  dollars."  Colonel  Hunter  also  called  the  attention  of 
Council  to  those  militiamen  who  had  served  their  "tour  of  duty  in  this  county," 
stating  that  they  complained  ver_v  much  about  not  getting  their  pay.  Many  of  them 
were  poor, ' '  especially  those  who  lived  above  Loyalsoek  creek,  who  lost  their  all  and 
are  in  great  distress.  When  they  moved  down  their  families  to  these  towns" 
(Northumberland  and  Sunbury,j  he  ordered  the  commissary  to  issue  them  provisions, 
and  Colonel  Hartley  still  allowed  it. 


On  the  1st  of  September,  1778,  Colonel  Hartley,  writing  from  Sunbury, 
informed  Cormeil  that  recently  he  had  "  been  out  with  several  detachments  up  the 
West  Branch,"  on  the  lookout  for  Indians.  He  was  not  sure  that  they  had  killed 
a  single  one,  but  it  would  have  been  in  their  power  to  do  so  several  times  if  they  had 
had  cavalry.  The  savages  frequently  appeared  in  open  ground,  but  they  were  too 
swift  of  foot  to  be  overtaken  by  his  men.  From  his  observation  he  was  "clearly 
convinced  of  the  utility  of  horse,  for  however  sagacious  the  Indians  are  they  can  not 
always  choose  their  own  ground."  The  horsemen,  he  claimed,  should  "be  armed 
with  a  sword,  two  pistols,  and  a  short  rifle — the  latter  would  be  necessary  to 
intimidate  the  enemy,   and  the  soldier  might  occasionally  act  on  foot."     He  had 


therefore  written  to  the  Board  of  War  requesting  them  to  send  him  "  an  officer  and 
twelve  horse."  He  renewed  his  request  for  ' '  twelve  swivels  for  the  county,"  for  in 
case  the  militia  are  withdrawn  they  would  be  "essentially  necessary."  He  was 
inducing  the  people  to  put  in  some  fall  crops.  A  number  of  persons  had  returned 
to  their  habitations,  but  they  were  ill  at  ease,  fearing  a  visit  from  the  savages  at  any 

The  Indians  were  constantly  on  the  watch  for  stragglers  from  Fort  Muncy.  Only 
a  few  days  before  the  writing  of  this  letter  "  three  German  militia,  without  arms 
and  without  permission,  went  out  of  the  fort  to  dig  some  potatoes  within  sight  of 
the  garrison.  They  were  immediately  attacked  by  one  white  man  and  some  Indians. 
The  enemy  discharged  all  their  pieces  at  once.  One  militiaman  fell  and  was 
scalped;  one  ran  off:  the  other  was  seized  and  had  a  tussel  with  a  stout  Indian,  but 
was  rescued  by  the  troops."  The  white  man  who  appeared  with  these  Indians  was 
a  Tory.  These  miscreants  were  worse  than  the  savages,  for  they  frequently  induced 
them  to  commit  acts  of  atrocity  which  they  would  not  have  thought  of  doing. 

Soon  after  this  affair  George  Gortner  (or  Cottner)  was  killed  not  far  from  the 
fort.  About  the  same  time  Thomas  Hunt  was  also  waylaid  and  shot.  He  was  out 
searching  the  woods  near  the  creek  for  cattle  when  the  Indians  fired  at  him.  The 
shot  took  effect  in  his  abdomen.  Of  course  he  was  scalped.  He  was  buried  on  the 
ridge  back  of  the  barn  of  Joseph  Gudykunst,  and  his  resting  place  was  long  marked 
by  a  large  sandstone.  The  new  road  from  Muncy  to  the  creek  now  crosses  the  spot 
where  his  asTies  repose.  Gemerd's  Now  and  Then  (September,  1S77,)  mentions 
the  grave  of  a  man  named  Childs,  who  was  killed  by  the  Indians  on  Glade  run,  not 
far  from  Brady's  fort.  It  was  under  a  plum  tree.  Another  grave,  whose  occupant 
was  Tinknown,  was  pointed  out  for  a  long  time  under  a  clump  of  apple  trees,  near 
the  creek.  A  peculiarity  of  this  grave  was  that  the  hat  and  shoes  of  the  occupant 
were  to  be  seen  for  a  long  time  resting  on  the  little  mound,  and  were  regarded  by 
the  early  settlers  "  as  very  sad  mementoes.' '  He  had  been  killed  by  the  Indians. 
There  were  many  other  graves  in  that  beautiful  valley  of  early  pioneers  who  fell  by 
the  hands  of  the  foe,  but  they  have  long  since  been  forgotten.  It  was  the  custom 
in  those  times  to  bury  the  unfortunates  near  where  they  fell,  and  without  coffin  or 
shroud.  The  only  mark  left  to  indicate  the  spot  was  a  little  mound  and  a  stone, 
without  inscription. 

Colonel  Hartley  reported  that  the  detachment  of  his  regiment  which  had  been 
serving  in  Northampton  county  had  reached  him,  but  their  "  clothes  were  all  torn 
by  the  woods,  and  they  were  in  the  utmost  want  of  hunting  shirts  and  woolen  over- 
alls or  leggins. "  He  hoped  therefore  that  "  200  of  each  "  would  be  sent  to  him  at 
once.  No  medicine  had  yet  arrived  and  the  militia  were  very  sickly.  The  inhab- 
itants are  recovering  fast  from  their  fright,  but  if  the  State  did  not  replace  some  of 
the  militia  whose  time  was  out,  "  hundredaof  families  will  have  to  be  maintained  as 

This  report  was  forwarded  by  Capt.  John  Brady,  father  of  the  unfortunate  James 
Brady,  who  had  just  been  buried.  He  was  on  his  way  to  rejoin  the  Continental 
army,  his  leave  of  absence  having  expired. 


Some  time  in  September,  or  about  three  months  after  the  bloody  occurrence  of 


June  10th  at  Lycoming  creek,  William  Winter,  who  had  settled  near  the  residence 
of  Amariah  Sutton  and  made  an  improvement,  returned  from  Berks  county  with 
some  ten  or  twelve  men  to  cut  hay  in  a  meadow  a  short  distance  above  the  mouth  of 
Lycoming  creek,  for  the  purpose  of  feeding  the  cattle  he  proposed  bringing  up  late 
in  the  fall.  The  meadow  was  in  what  was  known  at  that  time  as  "Locust  bottom." 
It  was  covered  with  a  luxuriant  growth  of  coarse  grass  or  wild  timothy,  which  grew 
so  high  that  when  a  man  was  sitting  on  horseback  it  was  level  with  his  head.  Through 
this  bottom  the  Philadelphia  and  Erie  railroad  now  runs.  Six  men  went  to  work  at 
cutting  grass.  William  King  was  among  the  number.  They  had  placed  their  guns 
against  a  tree  and  had  cut  but  two  and  a  half  swaths,  when  a  party  of  Indians  fired 
on  them,  killing  four.  King  being  untouched  dropped  his  scythe  and  ran  to  the 
river,  into  which  he  dashed,  and  swimming  to  the  other  shore  escaped,  although 
fired  at  several  times.  One  of  the  mowers  dropped  in  the  grass  and  managed  to 
conceal  himself  until  night,  when  he  made  his  way  to  the  river  and  raising  a  sunken 
canoe  started  on  his  way  to  Northumberland.  He  reached  that  place  in  safety  the 
next  day,  and  while  relating  that  all  had  been  killed  but  himself,  and  how  he  had 
escaped.  King  suddenly  appeared  in  their  midst.  His  clothes  were  torn  into  tatters 
by  the  briers  and  thorns  as  he  made  his  rapid  flight  over  the  mountains. 

Winter  and  the  balance  of  his  party  were  at  the  cabin  near  what  is  now  the 
corner  of  Third  and  Kose  streets,  Williamsport,  and  he  was  engaged  preparing  their 
dinner.  Hearing  the  firing  they  quickly  discerned  the  cause,  when  they  concealed  them- 
selves until  the  Indians  departed.  When  it  was  safe  they  went  to  the  meadow  and  found 
four  of  their  comrades  killed  and  scalped.  Fearing  to  remain  long  enough  to  pre- 
pare graves  and  bury  them,  they  gathered  the  bodies  together  and  hastily  covering 
them  with  a  thick  layer  of  new  mown  hay,  hurried  away  in  the  direction  of  Fort 
Muncy,  and  thence  to  their  homes  in  Berks  county. 

Early  the  following  spring  (1779)  Winter  and  a  party  of  men  returned,  and  on 
going  to  the  spot  where  they  had  placed  the  bodies,  removed  the  hay.  Much  to 
their  surprise  they  found  that  the  hay  had  preserved  them  from  decomposition.  They 
were  then  removed  to  the  place  where  the  slain  of  June  10,  1778,  were  laid,  and 
buried.  This  was  in  what  is  now  known  as  the  old  Lycoming  burial  ground  on 
West  Fourth  street,  and  these  four  bodies  were  probably  the  second  lot  of  unfortu- 
nates buried  in  that  ground. 

hartley's  expedition. 
Congress  having  directed  Colonel  Hartley  to  make  an  incursion  into  the  enemy's 
country  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  some  of  their  villages,  he  was  busily  engaged  for 
several  weeks  in  making  preparations.  He  had  hoped  to  be  able  to  get  together  a  force 
of  400  men,  besides  seventeen  horse,  which  he  had  mounted  from  his  own  regiment  and 
placed  "  under  the  command  of  Mr.  Carbery."  From  his  report  to  Congress  of  the 
expedition,  we  are  enabled  to  condense  "the  facts.  The  place  of  rendezvous  was 
Fort  Muncy.  The  troops  began  to  concentrate  on  the  18th  of  September,  but  when 
he  came  to  enumerate  the  strength  of  the  force,  he  found  that  it  only  consisted  of 
"  about  200  rank  and  file. "  This  was  a  disappointment,  as  he  thought  the  number 
rather  small  to  accomplish  much,  but  he  consoled  himself  with  the  reflection  that  as 
the  enemy  had  no  knowledge  of  his  design,  he  would  be  able  to  make  a  "  diversion, 
if  no  more,  while  the  inhabitants  were  saving  their  grain." 


On  the  morning  of  September  21,  1778,  at  4  o'clock,  the  force  moved  from 
the  fort,  "carrying  two  boxes  of  spare  ammunition  and  twelve  days'  provisions." 
Every  available  man  that  could  be  spared  from  the  fort  was  taken  along.  They 
crossed  Loyalsock  at  the  fording  and  passed  up  the  road  to  the  point  where  it  was 
intercepted  by  the  Sheshequin  trail.  The  weather  was  rainy  and  he  encountered 
much  trouble  in  the  "prodigious  swamps,  mountains,  defiles,  and  rocks"  which 
impeded  his  course.  They  had  to  open  and  clear  the  way  as  they  proceeded.  The 
Sheshequin  path,  which  he  took,  ran  up  Bouser's  run,  east  of  Williamsport,  and 
crossed  over  the  hills  to  Lycoming  creek,  which  it  ascended.  The  great  swamp  to 
which  he  alludes,  was  located  west  of  the  limestone  ridge  below  Williamsport,  and 
embraced  the  level  scope  of  country  as  far  west  as  Miller's  run.  It  was  caused  by 
a  great  watershed,  and  a  portion  of  it  is  there  to  this  day.  Its  only  outlet  was  the 
sluggish  rivulet  known  as  Bull  run.  The  territory  originally  covered  by  the  swamp 
embraced  more  than  a  square  mile,  and  it  extended  back  to  the  foot  hills.  Accord- 
ing to  tradition  it  was  "prodigious,"  and  in  continued  rainy  weather  was  almost 

The  Indian  path  being  very  narrow,  had  to  be  widened  to  admit  of  the  passage 
of  the  troops  and  horses;  and  this  was  the  first  work  of  the  kind  done  on  it.  The 
"mountains,  defiles,  and  rocks,"  were  found  on  Lycoming  creek.  It  will  be  remem- 
bered that  the  Moravians  described  the  route  up  that  stream  as  terribly  gloomy  and 
dangerous.  Although  the  Indians  laid  out  paths,  they  were  not  road  builders.  If 
a  tree,  thicket,  or  rock  obstructed  their  passage,  they  went  around  it;  they  never  re- 
moved anything. 

Colonel  Hartley  says  they  "waded  or  swam  the  River  Lycoming  upwards  of 
twenty  times. "  The  commander  thought  the  "difficulties  in  crossing  the  Alps,  or 
passing  up  Kennipeck,  could  not  have  been  greater  than  those  his  men  experienced 
for  the  time,"  but,  he  was  pleased  to  say,  "they  surmounted  them  with  gieat  reso- 
lution and  fortitude." 

As  they  progressed  in  their  march  they  found  "  in  lonely  woods  and  groves,"  the 
"haunts  and  lurking  places  of  the  savage  murderers"  who  had  desolated  the  fron- 
tier, and  "  saw  the  huts  where  they  had  dressed  and  dried  the  scalps  of  the  helpless 
women  and  children  who  had  fallen  in  their  hands." 

At  the  head  of  Lycoming  the  expedition  took  the  trail  leading  to  the  North 
Branch,  the  objective  point  being  Tioga,  a  concentrating  point  of  the  Indians.  On 
the  morning  of  the  26th  Colonel  Hartley's  advance  guard  of  nineteen  met  an  equal 
number  of  Indians  on  the  path,  approaching  them.  The  guard  had  the  first  fire 
and  killed  a  chief,  whom  they  scalped,  when  the  rest  fled.  A  few  miles  further  they 
discovered  where  upwards  of  sevent}'  warriors  had  lain  the  night  before.  They 
were  coming  down  to  attack  the  settlers,  but  learning  of  the  approach  of  Hartley's 
force  became  panic-stricken  and  fled  to  give  the  alarm.  No  time  was  to  be  lost  and 
•  the  force  advanced  rapidly  towards  "  Sheshecunnunck,"  (Sheshequin)  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  which  they  took  fifteen  prisoners.  Here  Colonel  Hartley  learned  that  a 
deserter  from  Captain  Spalding's  company  at  Wyoming  had  given  the  Indians 
notice  of  his  approach.  This  caused  him  to  move  ''with  the  greatest  dispatch 
towards  Tioga,"  advancing  his  horse  and  some  foot  in  front.  Several  of  the  enemy 
were  seen  but  they  fled  rapidly.     It  was  nearly  dark  when  Tioga  was  reached,  and 


as  the  troops  were  much  fatigued,  it  was  impossible  to  proceed  further  that  night. 

Another  prisoner  was  taken,  from  whom  it  was  learned  that  the  Indians  had  been 
advised  of  the  invasion.  Their  forces  had  been  ou  a  raid  to  the  German  Flats, 
where  they  had  taken  eight  scalps  and  brought  away  seventy  oxen  intended  for  the 
garrison  at  Fort  Stanwix.  On  their  return  they  were  to  have  attacked  Wyoming 
and  the  settlements  on  the  West  Branch  again.  A  strong  force  of  Indians  was  col- 
lecting at  Chemung — probably  500 — and  they  were  building  a  fort  there.  Colonel 
Hartley  was  also  informed  that  "Young  Butler  had  been  at  Tioga  a  few  hours 
before"  he  arrived — "that  he  had  300  men  with  him,  the  most  of  them  Tories, 
dressed  in  green,"  and  they  had  fled  in  the  direction  of  Chemung.  It  was  their 
intention  to  give  him  battle  in  some  of  the  defiles  if  he  proceeded  in  that  direction. 

On  gaining  this  knowledge  Colonel  Hartley  decided  to  advance  no  further,  but 
to  proceed  down  the  river  in  the  direction  of  AVyoming.  The  village  of  Tioga  was 
burned,  together  with  Queen  Esther's  palace.  Robert  Covenhoven,  who  accompanied 
the  expedition,  was  the  first  man  to  apply  the  torch.  All  the  huts  within  reach, 
together  with  a  number  of  canoes,  were  destroyed.  The  horse  pursued  the  enemy 
for  some  distance,  but  as  the  main  body  did  not  advance  they  returned.  The  con- 
sternation of  the  enemy  was  great,  and  had  his  force  been  sufficient  to  cope  with 
him,  Colonel  Hartley  was  of  the  opinion  that  he  could  have  inflicted  great  damage. 

On  the  morning  of  the  28th  the  little  army  crossed  the  river  and  marched 
towards  Wyalusing,  where  it  arrived  that  night  much  exhausted.  The  march  was 
continued  next  day  under  great  difficulties,  as  the  enemy  had  recovered  and  was 
assailing  their  rear  and  flanks.  After  considerable  fighting,  the  loss  of  four  killed 
and  ten  wounded,  and  much  delay,  Colonel  Hartley  reached  Sunbury  on  the  5th  of 

After  the  Indians  were  defeated  in  their  attack,  with  considerable  loss,  they  did 
not  pursue  any  further.  Colonel  Hartley  thought  their  force  was  fully  200. 
In  his 'march  he  had  made  "a  circuit  of  nearly  300  miles  in  about  two  weeks, 
brought  off  nearly  fifty  head  of  cattle,  twenty-eight  canoes,  besides  many  other 

Capt.  John  Brady,  who  had  been  sent  home  from  the  Continental  Army  to 
accompany  Colonel  Hartley,  Captain  Boone,  Lieut.  Robert  King,  and  other 
officers,  did  great  service,  and  Colonel  Hartley  mentioned  their  names  in  his  report. 
He  left  half  of  his  detachment  at  Wyoming,  with  five  officers,  to  assist  in  watching 
the  savages.  In  closing  his  long  and  interesting  report  Colonel  Hartley  says:  "My 
little  regiment  with  two  classes  of  Lancaster  and  Berks  county  militia,  will  be 
scarcely  sufficient  to  preserve  the  posts  from  Nescopeck  falls  to  Muncy,  and  from 
thence  to  the  head  of  Penn's  valley." 

The  success  of  the  expedition  gave  great  satisfaction  to  the  authorities,  and  the 
Supreme  Executive  Council  unanimously  passed  a  vote  of  thanks  to  him  for  his 
"  brave  and  prudent  conduct  in  covering  the  northwestern  frontiers  of  this  State,  and  . 
repelling  the  savages  and  other  enemies." 

At  the  time  6f  sending  his  report  Colonel  Hartley  made  a  requisition  for 
' '  300  round  bullets  for  three-pounders,  300  cartridges  of  grape  shot  for  the  same 
bore,  1,000  flints,  six  barrels  of  powder,  a  quantity  of  twine  and  port  fire,  a  ream  of 
cannon  cartridge  paper,"  and  other  small  articles.     He  said,  furthermore,  that  they 


had  "  eight  three-pounders  on  the  frontiers,"  from  which  it  is  inferred  that  they 
were  mounted  at  Forts  Muncy  and  Antes.  There  is  riothing  on  record  to  show  that 
small  cannon  were  taken  any  further  up  the  river;  indeed,  it  is  doubtful  if  Antes 
Port  mounted  any  guns,  although  there  is  a  tradition  that  the  latter  work  had  a 
small  cannon  or  two,  and  the  tradition  was  afterwards  strengthened  by  the  finding 
of  a  few  small  cannon  balls  near  where  the  fort  stood. 

The  Indians  did  not  relax  in  their  efforts  to  secure  scalps.  The  day  before 
Colonel  Hartley  wrote  his  report  (October  7th),  two  sergeants  belonging  to  his 
regiment  at  Fort  Muncy  imprudently  ventured  a  short  distance  outside  of  the 
enclosure.  They  were  immediately  attacked  by  lurking  Indians  and  one  of  them 
killed  and  scalped;  and  as  the  other  could  not  be  found  it  was  supposed  he  was 
taken  prisoner.  Smarting  under  their  defeat  at  the  hands  of  Colonel  Hartley, 
the  Indians  were  still  murderously  inclined  and  sought  every  opportunity  to  molest 
the  settlers. 


The  stirring  events  of  the  year  now  drawing  to  a  close  were  a  terrible  set-back  to 
the  people  of  this  valley,  both  in  the  development  of  wealth  and  increase  of  popula- 
tion. The  assessment  list  of  Muncy  township  for  1778,  which  has  been  preserved, 
shows  the  following  taxables,  as  compared  with  the  list  for  1774:  David  Austin, 
Nathaniel  Barber,  Michael  Baker,  John  Brady,  Charles  Brignal,  Peter  Burns,  Benja- 
min Bizart,  David  Berry,  Mathew  Blaney,  Elwood  Biddle,  Jonathan  Benjamin, 
David  Benjamin,  George  Bartley,  Daniel  Brown,  John  Buckalow,  Elizabeth  Bonser, 
William  Bonham,  James  Chambers,  Michael  Coon,  Peter  Cool,  Henry  Cooper,  Henry 
Carmer,  Joseph  Craft,  Peter  Courter,  Albert  Covenhoven,  James  Clark,  John  Car- 
penter, James  Carpenter,  George  Cottner,  Cornelius  Cox,  John  Carr,  Andrew  Cul- 
bertson,  Margaret  Duncan,  William  Ellis,  Andrew  Flaht,  William  Gannon,  Zach- 
ariah  George,  Samuel  Gordon,  Robert  Guy,  James  Giles,  Charles  Gillespie,  John 
Hampton,  Thomas  Hunt,  James  Hinds,  William  Hammond,  Jacob  Huck,  John  Hall, 
John  Coats,  Silas  Cook,  John  Covenhoven,  Daniel  Hill,  Amos  Hyland,  Joseph  Hay- 
land,  William  Hull,  Joseph  Hamilton,  James  Hampton,  Mary  Hoagland,  John  Hinds, 
(grist  and  saw  mill,)  James  Hall,  Samuel  Harris,  (one  slave,)  David  Ireland,  Peter 
Jones,  Daniel  John,  Benjamin  Jacobs,  Caleb  Knapp,  Abraham  Lafever,  Frederick 
Leuf,  (one  slave,)  Cornelius  Low,  Gaines  Lukens,  Enos  Lundy,  Jacob  Larason, 
Patrick  Murdock,  John  Morris,  Mordecai  McKinney,  (two  slaves,)  Hannah  Newman, 
Joseph  Newman,  Thomas  Newman,  Jr. ,  Thomas  Oliver,  Daniel  Prine,  James  Patton, 
Nimrod  Pennington,  (one  slave,)  Israel  Pancull,  William  Patterson,  Alexander  Power, 
Albert  Polhemus,  Statia  Potts,  James  Parr,  William  Roddman,  James  Robb,  (first 
constable  in  Muncy,)  David  Robb,  Henry  Richard,  John  Robb,  Edward  Reardon, 
Robert  Robb,  William  Snodgrass,  Peter  Smith,  Amariah  Sutton,  Richard  Sutton, 
John  Shoefelt,  John  Scudder,  Paulus  Sheep,  John  Stryker,  Joseph  Sutton,  Barnet 
Stryker,  James  Sutton,  Henry  Scott,  George  Silverthorn,  Oliver  Silverthorn,  Michael 
Smith,  Cornelius  Sharp,  Henry  Thomas,  John  Thompson,  Solomon  Tidd,  Jerome 
Van  Nest,  Mirrah  Voorhouse,  Cornelius  Venanda,  Samuel  Wallis,  (four  servants,  one 
negro,  one  mill,)  Joseph  Jacob  Wallis,  (one  negro,)  Joseph  Webster,  Daniel  Will- 
iams,  Peter  Wychoff,  David  Westman,  Andrew  Westman,  Joshua  White,  William 


Watson,  Fleming  Wilson,  Francis  Turbutt.  Twenty-four  single  freeman  are  men- 
tioned, but  their  names  are  not  given. 

This  assessment  was  made  in  the  early  part  of  the  year,  for  the  reader  will 
observe  that  a  number  whose  names  appear  on  the  list,  were  killed  by  the  Indians 
during  the  summer  and  autumn.  Notably  may  be  mentioned  David  Berry,  the  Ben- 
jamins, George  Cottner,  William  Snodgrass,  John  Shoefelt,  John  Thompson,  and 
William  Hammond.  There  were  others  no  doubt  who  perished  from  the  same  cause. 
The  name  of  Robert  Covenhoven  does  not  appear  in  the  list,  but  it  probably  was 
among  the  single  freemen,  as  it  is  known  that  he  was  here  at  that  time  and  was  con- 
spicuous as  a  guide  and  Indian  fighter. 

It  will  also  be  noticed  that  there  were  seven  slaves  held  in  the  township  at  that 
time.  But  one  "negro"  is  credited  to  Samuel  Wallis,  but  it  is  surmised  that  his 
"  four  servants ' '  were  slaves  also,  which  would  increase  the  number  to  eleven. 

Many  of  the  foregoing  settlers  suffered  greatly  during  the  flight  from  the  valley, 
and  several  never  returned.  One  of  the  saddest  cases,  perhaps,  was  that  of  Albert 
Polhemus  and  his  wife  Catharine.  They  fled  to  Northumberland  with  their  seven 
children,  where,  in  a  few  months,  both  died,  leaving  their  family  to  be  cared  for 
at  public  expense. 


'  As  autumn  waned  and  winter  came  on  apace,  the  savage  gradually  ceased  his 
inroads  on  the  settlements  and  the  inhabitants  were,  for  a  time,  in  a  measure  free 
from  molestation.  Worn  out  and  wearied  by  his  harassing  service  against  the 
Indians,  which  required  sleepless  vigilance,  Colonel  Hartley  yearned  to  be  relievefd. 
He  was  at  Sunbury  on  the  20th  of  November,  but  soon  afterwards  took  his  depart- 
ure, leaving  a  portion  of  his  regiment  in  garrison  at  Fort  Muncy,  with  other  detach- 
ments at  the  different  posts  requiring  protection.  His  departure  from  the  valley 
was  greatly  regretted  by  the  people,  as  his  services  had  been  eminently  successful. 
Col.  Thomas  Hartley  was  born  in  Berks  county,  September  7,  1748.  His  father 
gave  him  a  good  education,  and  at  the  age  of  eighteen  he  commenced  the  study  of 
law  at  York  with  Samuel  Johnston,  a  relative  and  distinguished  member  of  the 
legal  profession.  He  was  admitted  at  York,  July  25,  1769,  and  in  Philadelphia  on 
the  10th  of  August  following.  He  rose  rapidly  in  legal  distinction  and  had  built 
up  a  lucrative  practice  when  the  Eevolution  opened.  In  1774  he  was  made  vice- 
president  of  the  committee  of  observation  for  York  county,  and  again  in  1775. 
July  15,  1774,  he  was  chosen  a  deputy  to  the  Provincial  Conference  held  at  Phila- 
delphia, and  a  delegate  to  the  Provincial  Convention  of  January  23,  1775;  Decem- 
ber, 1774,  he  was  made  first  lieutenant  of  a  company  of  associators,  and  in  the 
December  following  he  was  made  lieutenant  colonel  of  the  First  Battalion  of  York 
county.  Congress,  on  the  lOtb  of  January,  1776,  appointed  him  lieutenant  colonel 
of  the  Sixth  Battalion  of  the  Pennsylvania  Line,  and  he  served  in  the  Canada  cam- 
paign of  that  year.  On  the  27th  of  December,  1776,  General  Washington,  by 
authority  of  Congress,  issued  commissions  to  raise  two  additional  regiments  in  Penn- 
sylvania, and  the  command  of  one  was  given  to  Colonel  Hartley.  He  commanded 
the  First  Pennsylvania  Brigade,  Wayne's  Division,  in  the  battles  of  Brandywine 
and  Germantown.  In  1778  he  was  sent  to  the  West  Branch  valley  with  his  veteran 
regiment  to  punish  the  Indians.  He  was  the  recipient  of  many  honors;  was  a  trustee 
of  Dickinson  College;  served  twelve  years  in  Congress,  and  died  at  York,  Pennsyl- 
vania, December  21,  1800. 

^nfiyJSSice  i^mi.SM^ 




The  TVrsTZR  of  1778-79  a  Period  of  Cohpabative  Qutet — TDiX.  Place,  axd  CrRcrM- 
STASCES  OF  Captats  Bsadt's  Tragic  Death — The  Bubial  Scexe — History  of  the 
Brady  Fautlt — The  Bbadt  Cexotaph — The  Lst>ias-s  at  "Wore  Agak — MEDicrsE 
Badly  ^Jseeded — The  Secoxd  Ixdiax  IxvASi02ir — The Secoxd Fught — Coloxel  Hitbeey's 

FEW  settlers  were  murdered  by  the  Indians  during  the  winter  of  1778—79. 
The  inclement  weather  prevented  them  from  making  incursions.  Andrew 
Fleming  settled  on  Pine  creek  near  where  the  honse  of  Matthew  McKinney  now 
stands.  On  Christmas  day,  1778,  he  took  down  his  rifle,  telling  his  wife  that  he 
would  go  out  and  kill  a  deer.  He  started  up  a  rayine  near  his  cabin,  and  had  not 
been  gone  long  when  the  report  of  a  gun  was  heard.  The  day  wore  away  and  he 
did  not  return.  His  wife  became  alarmed  at  his  absence  and  proceeded  to  look  for 
him.  Going  up  the  rayine  she  was  startled  on  perceiying  three  savages  skulking 
in  the  underbrush,  and  her  worst  suspicions  were  aroused.  Hastily  returning  she 
gave  the  alarm,  when  several  neighbors  collected  and  went  out  to  search  for  the 
missing  man.  They  had  gone  but  a  short  distance  when  they  found  his  dead  body. 
Three  bullets  had  been  fired  into  him,  one  of  which  entered  his  eye.  His  scalp  was 
removed.  The  Indians  could  not  be  found,  having  fled  when  they  found  they 
were  pursued. 

Captain  Walker  with  his  company  remained  at  Fort  Muncy  during  the  winter. 
In  a  letter  to  Capt.  John  Hambright,  a  member  of  the  Executive  Council,  under 
date  of  April  17,  1779,  he  says:  "  On  the  2d  of  August,  [177S]  we  were  ordered 
by  Colonel  Hartley  to  build  this  fort On  the  20th  of  Sept-ember  the  garri- 
son, which  consisted  of  one  captain,  two  subalterns,  four  sergeants,  and  sixty  rank 
and  tile,  were  drawn  out — except  one  subaltern  and  eighteen  men — on  an  expedi- 
tion under  the  command  of  Colonel  Hartley.  On  the  9th  of  October  we  again 
marched  into  it:  bad  weather  coming  on,  we  began  [building]  our  barracks,  maga- 
zine, store  house,  etc.  When  this  was  finished  we  were  comfortably  prepared 
against  the  winter;  but  in  the  spring  I  found  the  works  much  impaired.  I  then  set 
the  garrison  [at  work]  to  repair  the  works,  and  raised  them  eighteen  inches  high; 
then  we  put  two  rows  more  of  abattis  round  the  works."  The  Captain  and  his  men 
had  no  time  to  idle.  Their  duties  were  arduous,  and  at  the  same  time  the  most 
extreme  vigilance  was  required  to  guard  against  snjprise,  both  in  the  fort  and  out- 
side. Referring  to  the  labor  of  building  and  strengthening  the  fort,  the  Captain 
says:  "'  In  the  course  of  this  time  one-third  of  our  men  were  constantly  employed  as 
guards  to  the  inhabitants,  and  I  may  aflSrm,  in  harvest  the  one-half  were  employed 
in  the  same  way.     Xor  can  any  man  in  the  county  ever  say  he  asked  a  guard,  (when 



he  had  a  just  occasion,)  and  was  denied.  During  this  time  the  troops  were  not  sup- 
plied even  with  ration  whiskey;  almost  naked  for  want  of  blankets  and  clothes,  and 
yet  I  have  the  satisfaction  to  inform  you  that  they  did  their  duty  cheerfully.  I 
from  time  to  time  did  promise  them  some  compensation  for  their  trouble  and  indus- 
try. The  works  are  now  finished,  and  in  my  opinion  tenable  against  any  number 
our  savage  enemy  can  bring  against  them.  As  to  my  own  part,  I  beg  leave  to 
observe,  that  I  neither  claim  merit  nor  reward  for  what  I  have  done.  It  is  enough 
that  I  have  done  my  duty.  The  sole  cost  this  fort  is  to  the  State  is  building  two 
rooms  for  the  officers,  making  the  gates,  and  sentry  boxes." 

In  this  letter  Captain  Walker  speaks  twice  of  enclosing  a  "  plan  of  this  fort," 
but  the  editor  of  the  Pennsylvania  Archives  says  in  a  foot  note  that  it  could  not  be 
found.  His  appeal  in  behalf  of  his  men  for  some  "  reward"  for  what  they  had  done 
in  the  hours  of  emergency  which  surrounded  them  is  strong,  not  to  say  pathetic,  but 
nothing  ia  found  on  record  to  show  that  they  ever  received  a  penny  "reward''  for 
their  arduous,  dangerous,  and  patriotic  services. 


Nothing  of  unusual  interest  occurred  in  the  vicinity  of  Fort  Muncy  until  the  11th 
of  April,  1779,  when  Capt.  John  Brady  was  waylaid  and  shot  by  three  Indians 
about  one  mile  east  of  the  fort.  Brady  had  made  himself  particularly  obnoxious  to 
the  Indians  on  account  of  his  activity  in  opposing  them.  He  took  an  active  part  in 
Colonel  Hartley's  expedition  and  attracted  the  attention  of  the  Indians  by  his  brav- 
ery. Having  been  ordered  to  remain  at  home  from  the  Continental  Army  to  assist 
in  guarding  the  frontier,  he  was  active  as  a  ranger  and  the  savages  thirsted  for  his 

His  family  had  returned  from  Sunbury,  whither  they  fled  when  the  "Big  Eun- 
away"  took  place,  and  were  occupying  their  fortified  house  at  Muncy.  At  this  place 
Brady  made  his  headquarters.  On  the  fatal  11th  day  of  April  he  had  taken  a 
wagon  and  a  few  men  and  proceeded  to  Fort  Muncy  for  the  purpose  of  drawing  sup- 
plies. After  securing  the  provisions  he  started  the  wagon  back  to  his  house.  He 
was  riding  a  fine  young  horse  and  lingered  some  distance  in  the  rear  of  the  wagon 
and  guard.  Peter  Smith,  "the  unfortunate  man  "  who  lost  his  family  in  the  bloody 
massacre  of  June  10,  1778,  was  walking  by  the  side  of  the  horse  and  conversing 
with  Brady.  He  was  the  same  man  on  whose  farm  the  cradlers  and  reapers  were 
cutting  his  harvest  at  Loyalsock  the  day  James  Brady  was  scalped. 

When  within  a  short  distance  of  his  home,  instead  of  following  the  road  taken 
by  the  wagon  and  guard,  Brady  proposed  that  they  take  another  road  which  was 
shorter.  They  did  so  and  traveled  together  until  they  came  to  a  small  stream  now 
known  as  Wolf  run.  "Here,"  Brady  observed,  "  would  be  a  good  place  for  Indians 
to  hide,"  when  instantly  three  rifles  cracked  and  Brady  fell  from  his  horse  dead! 
As  the  frightened  animal  was  about  to  run  past  Smith  he  caught  it  by  the  bridle, 
vaulted  on  its  back  and  was  carried  to  Brady's  Fort  in  a  few  minutes.  The  report  of 
the  guns  was  distinctly  heard  at  the  fort  and  caused  alarm.  Several  persons  rushed 
out,  Mrs.  Brady  among  them,  and  meeting  Smith  coming  at  full  speed  and  greatly 
alarmed,  excitedly  inquired  where  Captain  Brady  was.  Smith,  it  is  said,  replied: 
"In  heaven  or  hell,  or  on  his  ivay  to  Tioga.'  "  meaning  that  he  was  either  killed  or 

DEATH    OF    CAPT.    JOHN    BEADY.  163 

taken  prisoner  by  the  Indians.  Tioga  was  the  point  they  generally  made  for  with 
their  prisoners. 

The  wagon  guard,  with  several  others,  quickly  repaired  to  the  place  where  the 
firing  occurred,  and  there,  as  it  was  feared,  the  gallant  Captain  was  found  lying  dead 
in  the  road.  The  Indians,  who  had  no  doubt  been  dogging  his  footsteps  from  the 
time  he  left  his  house,  were  in  such  haste  that  they  did  not  scalp  him  or  take  any  of 
his  effects.  It  was  about  midway  between  Fort  Muncy  and  Fort  Brady  where  they 
lay  in  ambush,  and  so  anxious  were  they  to  make  sure  of  killing  him  that  they  paid 
no  attention  to  Smith,  but  all  three  fired  on  him  at  once.  And  as  they  knew  there 
were  plenty  of  armed  men  at  both  forts,  and  that  they  would  be  pursued  at  once, 
they  dashed  into  the  bushes  and  put  themselves  at  a  safe  distance  as  quickly  as  pos- 
sible. They  eared  not  for  his  scalp;  it  was  glory  enough  to  know  that  they  had 
slain  the  man  they  all  hated  and  feared. 

His  death  caused  much  excitement  among  the  few  inhabitants  along  the  river,  as 
they  all  regarded  him  as  an  invaluable  man  in  those  days  of  peril,  and  his  loss  was 
well  nigh  irreparable.  His  widow  was  greatly  distressed  and  felt  the  blow  most 
keenly.  Her  lot  was  a  hard  one.  Only  eight  months  before  her  son  James  was 
stricken  down  by  the  same  bloody  hands  that  had  slain  her  husband. 

His  daughter,  Mary  Gray,  of  Sunbury,  who  was  fifteen  years  old  at  the  time  of 
the  assassination  of  her  father,  retained  to  the  last  moments  of  her  life  (December 
3,  1 850)  a  vivid  recollection  of  the  startling  scenes  of  that  day,  and  could  relate  the 
circumstances  with  great  minuteness.  She  said  that  two  balls  entered  his  back 
between  the  shoulders,  showing  that  the  miscreants  fired  at  him  after  he  had  passed 
their  place  of  concealment.  The  third  shot  missed  him,  if  there  were  three,  as  it 
was  always  claimed ;  but  Smith,  in  his  excited  condition,  might  easily  have  mistaken 
the  number.  Mrs.  Gray  said  that  her  father  carried  a  gold  watch,  and  his  parch- 
ment commission  as  a  captain  in  the  Continental  Army  in  a  green  bag  suspended 
from  his  neck.     These  were  undisturbed. 

When  the  body  was  found,  strong  arms  tenderly  assisted  in  carrying  it  to  his  late 
home,  where  preparations  were  begun  for  the  funeral.  A  coffin  was  probably  made 
of  bark.  There  were  no  plain  or  costly  burial  cases  in  those  days  in  the  pioneer 
settlements,  but  the  hero  of  many  a  well  fought  battle  reposed  as  calmly  in  a  bark 
or  deal  board  coflin  as  he  would  in  the  most  magnificent  casket  of  modern 
times.  His  funeral,  which  took  place  two  days  afterwards,  was  attended  by  all 
in  the  settlement  who  could  get  away.  All  the  men  bore  their  arms,  for  they  knew 
not  the  moment  the  lurking  foe  would  assail  them.  The  services  were  short,  for 
there  was  no  clergyman  present  to  read  a  prayer  or  pronounce  a  fitting  eulogy  over 
Ms  rude  bier.  What  brief  services  took  place  were  conducted  by  some  sturdy  friend, 
whose  rifle  stood  within  easy  reach.  The  cortege  moved  across  Muncy  creek,  up  the 
road,  and  by  the  lonely  place  where  he  was  instantly  stricken  down  in  the  prim^  and 
vigor  of  his  manhood,  to  the  burial  ground  on  the  brow  of  the  hill,  within  sight  of 
Fort  Muncy.  There  his  grave  had  been  prepared.  Captain  Walker,  with  a  firing 
squad,  was  present,  and  a  salute  fitting  to  his  rank  was  fired  over  the  grave  as  the 
coffin  was  lowered  to  its  last  resting  place.  There  were  few  dry  eyes  at  that  burial 
scene  over  112  years  ago.  All  felt  that  a  friend  and  protector  had  been  taken,  and 
as  each  man  firmly  grasped  his  rifle  he  resolved  that  he  would  never  relax   in  his 


efports  to  avenge  the  death  of  the  fallen  patriot  while  war  lasted,  or  the  red  foe 
prowled  in  the  forest. 

The  mourners  returned  to  the  saddened  home  from  the  lonely  grave  on  the  hill. 
There  were  no  gay  equipages  or  prancing  steeds  to  convey  them.  Men  carried  their 
trusty  rifles.  Sadness  and  gloom  settled  over  the  Brady  homestead  at  Muncy.  The 
widow,  whose  cup  of  sorrow  was  now  full  to  overflowing,  speedily  gathered  her 
younger  children  around  her  and  fled  to  the  home  of  her  parents  in  Cumberland 
county  the  following  May,  less  than  a  month  after  the  death  of  her  husband.  She 
had  passed  through  the  trying  scenes  of  the  "Big  Runaway,"  but  now  that  her 
husband  was  gone  she  could  no  longer  remain  in  the  settlement.  Her  eldest  son,  Sam- 
uel, the  renowned  scout  and  Indian  slayer,  was  a  captain  in  Colonel  Brodhead's  regi- 
ment, and  was  absent  on  a  western  expedition.  It  is  said  of  him  that  when  he 
heard  of  his  father's  death  he  raised  his  hand  and  vowed  to  high  Heaven  that  he 
would  avenge  the  murder  of  his  father,  and  while  he  lived  he  would  not  be  at  peace 
with  the  Indians  of  any  tribe.  And  terribly  did  he  carry  out  his  vow.  He  slew 
many  and  made  himself  a  terror  to  all  redskins  on  the  western  borders.  Having 
fully  avenged  the  death  of  both  his  father  and  younger  brother  James,  and  peace 
being  restored,  he  died  at  his  home  near  Wheeling,  December  25,  1795. 

It  was  never  positively  known  what  Indians  were  concerned  in  the  death  of 
Capt.  John  Brady.  The  secret  was  profoundly  kept  and  perished  with  the  deaths 
of  those  who  committed  the  atrocious  deed.  The  spot  where  he  was  killed  is  still 
pointed  out.  The  ground  afterwards  became  a  part  of  the  farm  of  Joseph  Warner, 
and  is  now  owned  by  Charles  Eobb,  Esq.,  of  Pittsburg,  whose  ancestors  were 
among  the  earliest  settlers  at  Muncy,  and  were  there  when  Brady  was  killed. 


The  Brady  family,  on  account  of  its  patriotism  and  identification  with  the  stirring 
times  of  the  Revolution  and  border  wars,  has  always  occupied  a  conspicuous  niche  in 
history,  and  the  heroic  deeds  and  thrilling  adventures  of  its  prominent  members,  if 
fully  recorded,  would  fill  a  large  volume.  Capt.  John  Brady,  second  son  of  Hugh, 
came  of  Irish  parentage,  and  was  born  in  Delaware  in  1733.  He  received  a  fair 
education  and  wrote  a  plain  round  hand,  as  shown  by  his  autograph  now  in  the 
possession  of  the  author.  He  taught  school  in  New  Jersey  for  a  few  terms  before 
his  parents  emigrated  to  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania  and  settled  near  Shippens- 
burg,  Cumberland  county,  some  time  in  1750.  He  learned  surveying  and  followed 
it  before  the  Indian  troubles  became  serious.  In  1755  he  married  Miss  Mary 
Quigley,  of  Cumberland  county.  Her  parents  and  relatives  were  ancestors  of  the 
Quigleys  now  so  numerous  in  Clinton  county.  John  and  Mary  (Quigley)  Brady  had 
thirteen  children,  eight  sons  and  five  daughters.  Two  sons  and  one  daughter  died 
in  infancy.  Samuel,  the  eldest,  was  born  in  1756.  At  the  time  of  his  birth  ' '  the 
tempestuous  waves  of  trouble  were  rolling  in  upon  the  infant  settlements  in  the 
wake  of  Braddock's  defeat,"  and  "he  grew  to  manhood  in  the  troublous  times  that 
tried  men's  souls. " 

On  the  breaking  out  of  the  French  and  Indian  war  John  Brady  offered  his  serv- 
ices as  a  soldier,  and  July  19,  1763,  he  was  commissioned  a  captain  of  the  Second 
Battalion  of  the  regiment  commanded  by  Governor  John  Penn,  and  took  part  in  the 

DEATH    OF    CAPT.    JOHN   BEADY.  165 

Bouquet  expedition.  For  this  service  he  came  in  with  the  officers  for  a  grant  of 
land,  which  he  selected  west  of  the  present  borough  of  Lewisburg. 

Meanwhile,  moved  by  the  "  restless,  mysterious  impulse  that  molds  the  destiny 
of  the  pioneers  of  civilization,"  Captain  Brady  had  taken  his  family  to  Standing 
Stone,  (now  Huntingdon,)  on  the  Juniata.  There  his  son  Hugh,  afterwards  major- 
general  in  the  United  States  Army,  and  twin  sister  Jane,  were  born,  July  27,  1768. 
In  the  summer  of  1769  he  moved  his  family  to  a  tract  of  land  lying  on  the  river 
opposite  Lewisburg,  which  he  had  reserved  out  of  the  "Officers'  Surveys,"  and  there 
he  made  some  improvements.  His  profession  as  a  surveyor  called  him  to  various 
places  in  the  valley,  and  visiting  Muncy  manor  he  became  impressed  with  the  beauty 
of  the  location,  richness  of  the  land,  and  charming  surroundings,  when  he  selected  a 
tract,  as  already  stated,  and  decided  to  settle  there.  In  the  spring  of  1776  he 
erected  a  stockade  fort  and  soon  afterwards  took  his  family  to  it. 

When  Northumberland  county  was  erected  in  1772,  and  the  first  court  was  held 
at  Fort  Augusta  in  August  of  that  year,  he  served  as  foreman  of  the  first  grand  jury. 
In  December,  1775,  he  accompanied  Colonel  Plunkett  in  his  ill-advised  expedition 
against  Wyoming.  Soon  after  the  breaking  out  of  the  Revolution  two  battalions  of 
associators  were  raised  in  Northumberland  county,  and  commanded  respectively  by 
Colonels  Hunter  and  Plunkett.  In  the  latter  Brady  was  appointed  first  major, 
March  13,  1776.  July  4,  1776,  he  attended  the  convention  of  associators,  held  at 
Lancaster,  as  one  of  the  representatives  of  Plunkett' s  battalion. 

The  term  of  associators  for  mutual  protection  ended  with  a  year  and  nine  months' 
service.  After  that  regiments  enlisted  for  the  war  were  raised.  William  Cooke  was 
made  colonel  of  the  Twelfth,  which  was  composed  of  men  enlisted  in  Northumber- 
land and  Northampton  counties.  John  Brady  was  commissioned  captain  of  one  of 
the  companies,  October  H,  1776,  and  on  the  18th  of  December  it  left  Sunbury 
to  join  the  Continental  Army  in  New  Jersey.  When  Washington  moved  his  army  to 
the  banks  of  the  Brandywine  to  intercept  Howe,  Brady  was  present  with  his  com- 
pany and  took  part  in  the  engagement.  He  also  had  two  sons  in  this  battle.  Samuel 
was  first  lieutenant  in  Capt.  John  Doyle's  company,  having  been  commissioned 
July  17,  1776.  John,  his  fourth  son,  born  March  18,  1762,  and  then  only  fifteen 
years  old,  was  there  also.  He  had  gone  to  the  army  to  ride  some  horses  home,  but 
noticing  that  a  battle  was  imminent,  insisted  on  remaining  and  taking  part.  He 
secured  a  gun  and  joined  the  company.  The  Twelfth  regiment  was  in  the  thickest 
of  the  fight,  and  Lieutenant  Boyd,  of  Northumberland,  was  killed  by  Captain  Brady's 
side.  His  son  John  was  slightly  wounded,  and  he  fell  from  a  shot  in  the  mouth. 
The  day  ended  with  disaster  and  the  Twelfth  nearly  cut  to  pieces.  Luckily  Captain 
Brady's  wound  was  not  serious.  The  shot  only  loosened  some  of  his  teeth.  As  he 
was  suffering  from  an  attack  of  pleurisy,  (from  which  he  never  entirely  recovered,) 
he  was  given  leave  to  visit  his  home.  On  the  1st  of  September,  1778,  he  reported 
for  duty,  but  as  the  field  officers  of  his  regiment  had  been  mustered  out,  and  the 
companies  distributed  among  the  Third  and  Sixth  regiments.  Captain  Brady  was 
sent  home  by  General  Washington's  orders,  together  with  Captain  Boone  and 
Lieutenants  Samuel  and  John  Daugherty,  with  instructions  to  join  Colonel  Hartley 
and  assist  in  defending  the  frontier.  Brady  and  his  companions  reached  Fort  Muncy 
September  18th,  joined  Colonel  Hartley,  and,  as  already  stated,  participated  in  the 
expedition  to  Tioga. 


Captain  Brady  was  one  of  those  men  to  whom  Colonel  Hunter  referred  in  his  letter 
of  December  13,  1778,  "who  would  rather  die  fighting  then  leave  their  homes  again. " 
His  son  John,  who  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Brandywine,  was  elected  sheriff  of 
Northumberland  county  in  1794,  and  was  in  office  when  Lycoming  county  was  erected. 
He  died  in  1809.  The  personal  appearance  of  Capt.  John  Brady  has  come  down 
to  us  through  tradition.  He  was  sis  feet  in  height,  straight,  well  formed,  had  dark 
hair  and  complexion,  and  hazel  eyes. 


The  little  cemetry  where  he  was  buried  is  on  the  face  of  the  hill  near  Hartley 
Hall  station,  at  the  junction  of  the  Williamsport  and  North  Branch  with  the  Phila- 
delphia and  Reading  railroad,  ten  miles  east  of  Williamsport,  and  is  plainly  visible 
from  the  cars  as  they  pass  up  and  down  both  railroads.  At  the  time  of  his  interment 
only  a  few  burials,  mostly  of  persons  killed  by  the  Indians,  had  been  made  there. 
It  is  among  the  oldest  cemeteries  in  Lycoming  county,  and  is  still  used  for  that  pur- 
pose. For  many  years  it  was  neglected  and  became  overrun  with  briers  and  bram- 
bles. But  of  late  years  it  has  been  neatly  kept.  It  is  known  as  Hall's  burial  ground 
and  belongs  to  that  estate. 

The  spot  where  Captain  Brady  was  laid  is  a  lovely  one,  and  a  fine  view  of  the 
surrounding  country  is  afforded.  The  public  road  between  Muncy  and  Williams- 
port passes  the  cemetery,  and  by  looking  over  the  picket  fence  the  grave  of  the  pa  - 
triot  soldier  can  be  plainly  seen.  The  grave  was  not  attended  for  many  years  and 
was  finally  lost  sight  of.  Gen.  Hugh  Brady,  his  youngest  son,  often  sought  it  in 
vain.  At  last  his  daughter  Mary,  then  the  wife  of  Gen.  Electus  Backus,  U.  S.  A., 
was  made  acquainted  with  it  by  Henry  Lebo,  an  old  comrade  and  Revolutionary  sol- 
dier, who  was  present  at  the  funeral.  On  his  deathbed  he  made  a  request  to  be  hur- 
ried by  the  side  of  Captain  Brady,  and  his  request  was  carried  out.  Lebo  was  in 
the  battle  of  Germantown  and  was  badly  wounded.  After  the  war  he  came  to  Mun- 
cy, married,  and  for  many  years  kept  a  public  house  by  the  roadside  on  one  of  the 
Hall  farms.  He  had  several  sons  and  daughters.  Robert  W.  Lebo,  a  well  known 
citizen  of  Port  Penn,  is  a  grandson. 

Although  it  had  often  been  suggested  that  a  monument  should  bereared  in  honor 
of  Capt.  John  Brady,  a  hundred  years  passed  before  it  was  done.  Through  the 
untiring  efforts  of  J.  M.  M.  Gernerd,  of  Muncy,  enough  money  was  raised  by  one 
dollar  contributions  to  erect  a  beautiful  cenotaph  to  his  memory  in  the  cemetery  of 
Muncy,  three  miles  away  from  the  place  where  the  ashes  of  the  hero  commingled  with 
the  soil.  It  was  formally  dedicated  and  unveiled,  October  15,  1879,  in  the  presence 
of  a  great  throng  of  people,  including  many  descendants  of  the  distinguished 
dead.  Hon.  John  Blair  Linn,  of  Bellefonte,  delivered  the  historical  address,  in 
which  he  recounted  the  many  noble  deeds  of  the  deceased,  whose  grave  had  remained 
neglected  and  unmarked  for  the  full  round  period  of  a  century.  In  closing  his  elo- 
quent oration  he  used  these  words: 

To  Captain  Brady's  descendants,  time  fails  me  in  paying  a  proper  tribute.  When  border 
tales  have  lost  their  charm  for  the  evening  hour;  when  oblivion  blots  from  the  historic  page 
the  glorious  record  of  Pennsylvania  in  the  Revolution  of  1776;  then,  and  then  only,  will  Capt. 
Samuel  Brady,  of  the  Rangers,  be  forgotten.  In  private  life,  in  public  office,  at  the  bar, 
in  the  Senate  of  Pennsylvania,  in  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United  States,  in  the 


DEATH    OF    CAPT.    JOHN    BEADY.  167 

ranks  of  battle,  Capt.  John  Brady's  sons  and  grandsons  and  great-grandsons  have  flung  far 
forward  into  the  future  the  light  of  their  family  fame. 

From  far  and  near,  all  over  this  grand  valley,  the  most  beautiful  to  us  the  sun  in  his  course 
through  the  heavens  looks  down  upon,  we  have  come  to  dedicate  this  monument  to  the  memory 
of  its  pioneer  defender — Capt.  John  Brady. 

At  thy  feet,  then,  Oh!  Mountains  of  Muncy!  thy  solemn  Red  Men  fled  before  the  mystic 
sound  of  coming  civilization;  we,  before  the  tramp  and  tread  of  States;  we  dedicate  this  granite 
landmark  to  Brady,  the  pioneer,  the  Corypheus  here,  of  title  by  improvement  and  pre-emption; 
a  system  which  began  by  the  rock  at  Plymouth,  and  will  continue  until  the  last  echo  of  the 
woodman's  axe  dies  away  amid  the  surges  of  the  Pacific. 

In  thy  bosom,  Oh !  Valley  of  the  West  Branch !  we  dedicate  this  memorial  to  the  eagle-eyed 
sentinel,  who  one  hundred  years  ago  peered  through  the  dusky  twilight  for  thy  foes.  Here,  on 
these  heights,  in  this  holy  bivouac  of  the  dead,  let  it  forever  stand  sentry  of  his  compatriot 
slain  of  Antietam,  of  Fredericksburg,  of  the  Wilderness,  of  Atlanta,  of  the  mourned  battle- 
fields of  the  war  for  the  Union,  whose  last  "All's  well!"  is  still  echoing  gloriously  through 
the  Republic. 

On  thy  bright  waters.  Oh!  ISToble  Susquehana!  which  mirror  in  thy  winding  course  so 
many,  many  scenes  of  domestic  peace  and  comfort;  so  many  scenes  of  Eden-like  beauty, 
rescued  from  primeval  wildness,  only  listening,  in  thy  quiet  course  to  the  sea, 

To  the  laughter  from  the  village  and  the  town. 

And  the  church  bells  ever  jangling  as  the  weary  day  goes  down. 

Surrounded  by  these  venerable  fathers  who  have  lingered  in  life's  journey  to  see  this  happy 
day;  surrounded  by  the  life  and  beauty  of  this  grand  old  horiie  of  brave  sons  and  patriotic 
daughters,  under  the  auspices  of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic — the  "  Cincinnati "  of  the 
war  for  the  Union — in  solemn  joy  we  dedicate  this  monument  to  our  benefactor.  And  as  we  gaze 
upon  it,  let  us  resolve,  that  as  this  government  came  down  to  us  from  the  past,  it  shall  go  from 
us  into  the  future — a  blessing  to  our  posterity,  and  the  hope  of  the  world's  freedom. 

The  ceremonies  were  opened  with  prayer  by  Rev.  E.  H.  Leisenring,  after  a 
parade,  with  music,  and  were  imposing  and  impressive.  The  poem  was  composed 
by  Col.  Thomas  Chamberlin.  It  opened  with  a  description  of  the  valley  and  sur- 
rounding mountain  scenery,  the  coming  of  the  settlers,  their  trials  and  vicissitudes, 
the  attacks  of  the  Indians,  the  flight,  return,  and  final  death  of  Brady. 

The  cenotaph  is  plain  but  massive,  and  is  constructed  of  Maine  granite  in  four 
handsomely  proportioned  pieces,  consisting  of  a  base,  a  sub-base,  a  die,  and  an 
obelisk,  the  whole  rising  to  a  height  of  twenty-seven  feet  and  weighing  about 
twenty-five  tons.  It  rests  on  a  solid  foundation  of  masonry  hidden  from  sight  by  a 
sodded  terrace  nearly  three  feet  high,  and  is  in  proportion  to  the  size  of  the  circular 
lot  in  the  center  of  which  it  stands.  The  total  elevation  of  the  cap  of  the  shaft  is 
about  thirty  feet.  The  date,  "1779,"  is  cut  about  the  center  of  the  shaft  on  the 
front  face,  in  raised  figures;  the  name,  "John  Brady,"  in  heavy  letters  in  the  die, 
and  the  date  of  erection,  "  1879,"  in  the  center  of  the  sub-base.  On  each  side  of 
the  die  is  a  large  polished  panel,  bordered  by  a  neatly  chiseled  molding  to  corre- 
spond with  the  lines  of  the  die  and  shaft.  The  faces  of  the  letters  and  figures  are 
brightly  polished,  and  all  other  exposed  parts  of  the  cenotaph  are  finely  cut.  Its 
artistic  proportions  are  pleasing  to  the  eye,  and  it  is  much  admired  by  visitors  to  the 
cemetery.     It  cost  about  §1,600. 

In  the  cemetery  at  Hall' s,  where  the  remains  of  Brady  lie,  together  with  those 
of  his  compatriot  and  friend,  Lebo,  granite  markers  were  also  placed.  They  consist 
of   thick    slabs,  30x21  inches,   set   on  bases   14x29  inches,  and  they  are  forty-four 


inches  in  height.  The  stones  are  unpolished,  except  the  fronts,  on  which  the 
epitaphs  are  cut  in  plain  letters.  The  foot  stones  are  in  the  same  simple  style, 
■without  lettering.  The  money  required  to  erect  these  markers,  about  $70, 
"was  also  raised  by  Mr.  Gernerd  by  means  of  an  autograph  albxim  at  twenty-five 
cents  a  signature.     The  inscriptions  on  these  markers  read  as  follows: 

Captain  .John  Brady  fell  in  defence  of  our  forefathers,  at  Wolf  Run,  April  11,  l';79,  aged 
forty-six  years. 

In  memory  of  Henry  Lebo,  died  July  4,  1838,  in  the  seventieth  year  of  his  age. 

There  side  by  side  sleep  the  patriot  hero  and  his  faithful  friend.  Near  by  stands 
a  lonely  pine  tree,  through  whose  branches  the  wind  sighs  a  soft,  plaintive  requiem 
for  their  departed  spirits.  And  notwithstanding  more  than  a  hundred  years  have 
rolled  away  since  Brady  was  laid  at  rest  in  this  quiet  retreat,  many  strangers 
and  others  still  visit  the  spot  and  stand  with  uncovered  heads  invthe  presence  of 
the  dead. 

When  the  widow  of  Capt.  John  Brady,  bowed  down  with  grief  and  sorrow, 
bade  adieu  to  her  home  on  Muncy  manor  and  started  for  Cumberland  county 
her  youngest  child,  Liberty,  born  August  9,  1778,  at  Sunbury,  was  only  about 
seven  months  old.  She  was  named  Liberty,  because  she  was  born  after  Independ- 
ence was  declared,  and  was  the  thirteenth  child,  corresponding  with  the  thirteen 
original  States.  She  grew  to  womanhood,  married  William  Dewart,  of  Sunbury, 
and  died  there,  without  issue. 

Although  so  overwhelmed  with  the  weight  of  misfortune  which  had  overtaken 
her,  Mrs.  Mary  Quigley  Brady  did  not  sit  down  to  pine  in  grief  over  her  hard  lot. 
She  was  made  of  sterner  stuff,  and  proved  herself  a  type  of  the  Roman  matron  of 
old.  Having  recovered  somewhat  from  the  shock  caused  by  her  misfortunes,  she 
determined  to  return  to  the  West  Branch  valley  and  found  a  home  for  herself  and 
children  on  the  tract  of  land  granted  to  her  husband  west  of  Lewisburg  through  the 
"Officers'  Surveys,"  for  his  services  in  the  Bouquet  expedition.  With  this  resolve 
she  left  the  home  of  her  parents  the  subsequent  October  and  performed  the  wonder- 
ful feat  of  riding  on  horseback,  carrying  her  young  child.  Liberty,  and  leading  a 
cow,  from  Shippensburg  to  her  Buffalo  valley  home.  How  the  other  children  got 
through  is  unknown,  but  they  did  and  joined  their  resolute  mother.  There  she 
lived  until  October  20,  1783,  when  she  died,  aged  forty-eight  years.  A  marble 
tablet  in  the  cemetery  at  Lewisburg,  with  an  appropriate  inscription,  marks  her 


After  the  death  of  Brady  the  Indians  seemed  emboldened  and  began  their  nefarious 
work  again.  They  knew  that  their  most  dangerous  enemy  was  dead.  The  authorities, 
however,  were  on  the  alert.  April  14,  1779,  President  Reed  wrote  Colonel  Hunter 
that  General  Washington  had  ordered  General  Hand  to  march  from  Minisink  to 
Wyoming  "  with  about  600  men,"  which  he  thought  would  be  a  competent  force  for 
the  protection  of  this  valley  .as  well  as  Wyoming.  He  recommended  Hunter  to  ap- 
ply to  him  for  a  sufficient  number  of  men  to  support  the  post  at  Fort  Muncy.  A  new 
compaoy  of  militia  was  being  recruited,  and  commissions  were  forwarded  for  Cap- 
tain McElhatton,  First  Lieut.  Robert  Arthur,  and  Second  Lieut.  John  Daugherty, 
the  officers  recommended  to  command  it. 

DEATH    OF    CAPT.    JOHN    BEADY.  169 

On  the  27tli  Colonel  Hunter  acknowledged  the  receipt  of  the  commissions  for  the 
officers  to  serve  for  nine  months,  and  informed  President  Keed  that  Arthur  had  de- 
clined to  serve,  and  McBlhatton  and  Daugherty  had  not  yet  reached  the  county. 
He  did  not  know  whether  they  would  accept,  but  if  they  decliiied  he  thought  others 
could  be  secured  who  would. 


The  outlook  continued  discouraging.  Colonel  Hunter  informed  Council  by 
letter  that  they  were  at  a  great  loss  for  medicine  for  the  "poor  wounded  men." 
Dr.  Benjamin  Allison,  who  had  "  always  attended  the  militia  of  this  county,"  he  con- 
tinued, "  both  in  the  camp  and  at  Sunbury,  had  consumed  what  he  had  of  his  own, 
and  never  was  allowed  anything  but  his  pay'  as  surgeon.  He  had  lost  his  case  of 
surgical  instruments,  and  there  were  none  in  the  county.  This  fact  he  mentioned, 
because  he  did  not  know  where  to  apply  for  another." 

This  letter  was  carried  to  the  Supreme  Executive  Council  by  James  Hepburn, 
who  was  also  instructed  to  impart  other  points  of  information  not  alluded  to  in  the 

About  this  time  Captain  Walker,  who  built  Fort  Muncy,  and  had  rendered  such 
■efficient  service  in  the  way  of  protecting  the  infant  settlements,  seems  to  have  taken 
his  departure,  but  the  records  fail  to  give  the  time  or  where  he  went.  Probably  his 
departure  was  caused  by  the  consolidation  of  Colonel  Hartley's  regiment  with  the 
New  Eleventh,  on  account  of  its  decimated  condition.  It  is  a  source  of  regret  that 
so  little  has  been  preserved  of  the  personal  history  of  this  brave  and  faithful  officer. 
Colonel  Hartley  says  that  he  entered  the  service  with  him  as  a  lieutenant  in  his  Con- 
tinental regiment,  from  Pennsylvania,  "  and  on  account  of  his  merit  was  appointed 
captain  on  my  request,  January  23,  1778,  and  whilst  under  my  command  he  was  a 
punctual,  brave,  and  deserving  officer,  and  acquitted  himself  with  the  highest  repu- 
tation."  The  last  we  hear  of  him  was  when  he  was  transferred  to  the  Second 
regiment,  Pennsylvania  Line,  January  17,  1781. 

William  Maclay,  writing  to  Council  April  27, 1779,  expressed  much  alarm  for  the 
safety  of  the  settlements.  ' '  From  the  incursions  that  are  being  made  it  seems  that 
the  whole  force  of  the  Six  Nations  is  being  poured  down  upon  us.  How  long  we 
will  be  able  to  bear  up  under  such  complicated  and  severe  attacks,  God  only  knows." 
He  feared  that  "  the  spring  crops  will  be  lost,"  and  that  the  want  of  bread  will  be 
"added  to  our  other  calamities."  The  constant  cry  was  for  more  men  to  protect 
the  frontier.  He  believed  that  the  most  effectual  way  of  striking  a  blow  at  the 
savages  would  "be  to  carry  another  expedition  immediately  into  their  own 
country,"  and  he  strongly  advocated  such  a  movement. 

Mr.  Maclay  also  advocated  "  hunting  the  scalping  parties  of  Indians  with  horse- 
men and  dogs."  Dogs,  it  was  known,  would  follow,  and  even  seize  them  when 
urged  by  their  masters.  For  this  scheme  he  was  subjected  to  some  ridicule,  but 
that  did  not  shake  his  confidence  in  its  success.  But  it  does  not  appear  to  have 
been  carried  out. 

So  threatening  did  the  Indians  become  on  the  West  Branch,  that  General  Hand 
was  at  last  convinced  that  he  must  do  something  to  protect  the  people  here.  On 
the   15th   of  May  he  reported  a  garrison  of    100  men   at   Fort    Jenkins,    100  at 


Fort  Muncy,  and  70  at  Sunbury.  These  were  all  Continental  veterans  drawn  from 
the  Eleventh  regiment.  There  was  a  local  company  of  militia  enlisted  for  nine 
months,  commanded  by  Capt.  John  Kemplen,  stationed  at  Bossley  mills,  and 
smaller  detachments  at  Fort  Freeland  and  minor  posts. 

While  the  preparations  at  Wyoming  were  going  on  for  Sullivan's  expedition  up 
the  North  Branch,  there  was  little  disturbance  on  the  West  Branch,  and  for  a  few 
weeks  the  inhabitants  enjoyed  a  period  of  comparative  quiet.  But  the  Indians,  like 
Sullivan,  were  preparing  for  a  grand  coitp  de  main.  If  he  invaded  their  country 
they  proposed  to  sweep  down  through  the  West  Branch  valley  with  a  strong  force, 
lay  the  country  in  waste,  and  hang  upon  his  rear  as  he  ascended  the  river.  These 
plans  were  laid  by  the  British  and  Tories  of  the  north  and  the  Indians  were  willing 
to  carry  them  out.  With  a  strong  fo'rce  in  his  front  and  rear  they  hoped  to  crush 
him.  But  while  Sullivan  succeeded  in  crushing  the  Indians,  the  West  Branch 
valley  was  scourged  worse  than  it  had  ever  been  before.  Sullivan  claimed  that 
when  his  expeditionary  force  moved  it  would  attract  the  attention  of  the  Indians  and 
they  would  neglect  other  portions  of  the  country  and  hasten  to  attack  him.  In  this 
he  was  mistaken. 

As  summer  came  on  the  ravages  of  the  Indians  gradually  increased.  The 
country  seemed  to  be  filled  with  small  roving  bands  and  no  one  considered  him- 
self safe.  In  the  latter  part  of  June  the  Eleventh  regiment  was  withdrawn  to  join 
Sullivan  at  Wyoming.  As  the  greater  part  of  the  supplies  for  his  forc.e  were  trans- 
ported up  the  river  in  boats  from  the  depot  that  had  been  established  at  Sunbury, 
there  was  such  a  demand  for  men  for  boating  purposes  that  it  was  almost  impossible 
to  get  any  one  to  serve  in  the  militia.  As  high  as  200  boats  were  employed  at  one 

On  the  26th  of  June  Colonel  Hunter  informed  Council  that,  exclusive  of  the 
militia  at  Fort  Freeland  and  at  Potter's  Fort  in  Penn's  valley,  he  had  been  able  to 
collect  but  thirty  men,  and  they  were  stationed  at  Sunbury  to  protect  the  stores. 
The  term  for  which  the  two  months'  companies  of  militia  had  enlisted  had  expired, 
and  he  was  practically  without  men  to  defend  the  frontier.  This  emboldened  the 
Indian  scouting  parties  and  they  increased  their  ravages. 


In  the  meantime  rumors  were  reaching  the  settlements  almost  daily  of  the 
approach  of  a  large  force  of  Indians,  and  the  fear  of  the  inhabitants  was  greatly 
increased.  Since  the  regulars  had  been  withdrawn  from  Fort  Muncy  it  was  used  as 
a  place  of  rendezvous  for  the  settlers.  Col.  William  Hepburn  had  charge  of  the 
fort,  and  to  him  the  people  looked  for  orders  and  advice.  With  true  military  instinct, 
he  determined  to  send  scouts  up  Lycoming  creek  to  ascertain  if  there  were  any  signs 
of  the  enemy  approaching  in  force.  Robert  Covenhoven,  who  was  noted  for  his 
sagacity,  coolness,  and  acquaintance  with  the  Indian  paths,  was  selected  for  this 
dangerous  duty.  He  preferred  to  go  alone,  as  he  thought  he  could  better  elude  observ- 
ation than  if  accompanied  by  any  one.  Avoiding  the  main  trail  up  Lycoming,  and  by 
keeping  well  upon  the  mountains,  he  cautiously  crept  through  the  wilderness  towards 
the  sources  of  the  stream,  mostly  at  night.  Somewhere  in  the  vicinity  of  what  is 
supposed  to  be  Roaring  Branch,  he  gained  the  first  evidences  of  the  presence  of  the 


savages.  He  could  distinctly  hear  their  whoops  of  defiance  in  the  depths  of  the 
forest.  They  evidently  fancied  themselves  secure  in  those  wild  retreats,  because 
they  were  so  far  from  the  settlements;  they  had  no  idea  that  white  men  would  ad- 
vance that  far  to  observe  their  movements.  But  the  daring,  keen-eyed  spy  was  there 
to  watch  them.  Covenhoven  secreted  himself  in  a  thicket,  where  he  felt  secure,  and 
observed  them  during  the  day.  They  appeared  to  be  concentrating  in  force,  and  as 
shots  were  frequently  fired,  he  came  to  the  conclusion  that  they  were  cleaning  their 
guns  and  making  preparations  to  descend  the  stream  for  the  purpose  of  murder, 
pillage,  and  destruction. 

Satisfied  that  a  strong  force  was  comiug,  the  wary  spy  quickly  retraced  his  steps 
over  the  rugged  hills,  through  the  thickets  and  defiles.  The  journey  was  a  danger- 
ous one,  but  being  vigorous  and  strong  he  made  rapid  progress.  Striking  an  Indian 
path  as  he  approached  Loyalsock — probably  the  great  Sheshequin  trail — he  followed 
it  a  short  distance.  Suddenly  it  occurred  to  him  that  he  might  meet  Indians  if  he 
continued  in  the  path,  and  he  stepped  behind  a  large  tree  to  rest.  He  had  been 
there  but  a  few  minutes  when  two  Indians  came  jogging  along  and  passed  him, 
humming  a  rude  ditty.  Had  he  kept  the  path  they  would  have  met  him,  and  as 
there  were  two  to  one,  he  might  have  been  killed  and  the  settlers  would  have  been 
left  in  ignorance  of  what  was  coming. 

Reaching  Fort  Muncy  Covenhoven  informed  Colonel  Hepburn  of  what  he  had 
learned  and  gave  it  as  his  opinion  that  great  danger  was  near.  Acting  on  his 
advice,  the  inhabitants  were  at  once  apprised  of  their  danger  and  preparations  were 
at  once  made  to  leave  the  fort  and  fly  to  Sunbury  for  the  second  time.  Although 
there  was  much  fear  among  the  people,  they  were  less  excited  than  at  the  time  of 
the  "  Big  Runaway,"  and  a  panic  did  not  seize  them. 

As  the  main  body  of  the  invading  force  hung  in  the  northern  forests,  evidently 
waiting  for  reinforcements,  small  bands  of  Indians  descended  into  the  valley  and 
ravaged  the  country.  On  the  23d  of  July,  1779,  Colonel  Hunter  wrote  to  Col. 
Matthew  Smith:  "  We  have  really  distressing  times  at  present  in  this  county. 
Immediately  after  the  evacuation  of  Fort  Muncy  the  Indians  began  their  cruel 
murders  again.  The  3d  instant  they  killed  three  men  and  took  two  prisoners  at 
Lycoming;  the  8th  instant  they  burned  the  Widow  Smith's  mills  and  killed  one 
man;  the  17th  they  killed  two  men  and  took  three  prisoners  from  Fort  Brady,  and 
the  same  day  they  burned  Starrett's  mills  and  all  the  principal  houses  in  Muncy 
township; the  20th  they  killed  three  men  at  Freeland's  fort,  and  took  two  prisoners." 

These  ravaging  bands  were  but  the  advance  guard  of  the  heavy  force  collected 
in  the  fastnesses  of  Lycoming  creek,  which  would  soon  descend  to  sweep  the  vaUey 
as  with  the  besom  of  destruction.  In  the  same  letter  Colonel  Hunter  said  these 
murders  had  so  intimidated  the  people  that  they  were  ' '  really  on  the  eve  of  desert- 
ing the  county  entirely,  as  there  is  no  prospect  of  any  assistance  to  enable  them  to 
get  their  harvests  put  up."  He  thought  that  the  army  at  Wyoming  would  draw  the 
attention  of  the  Indians  in  that  direction,  but  it  did  not,  and  affairs  were  worse  here 
now  than  they  ever  had  been.  He  had  just  returned  from  "  a  little  scout  along 
Muncy  Hill,"  and  had  seen  such  evidences  of  Indian  depredation  and  horse  stealing 
that  he  did  not  believe  that  the  little  forts  at  Freeland's  and  Boone's  could  stand 
long  if  the  Indians  came  in  force. 


William  Maelay,  writing  to  President  Reed,  of  Council,  on  the  26tli  of  July, 
reported  that  General  Sullivan  was  about  ready  to  move  and  he  had  high  hopes  of 
his  success,  but  Northumberland  county  was  in  a  deplorable  condition.  Sullivan 
had  stripped  her  of  all  the  troops,  and  "  without  a  single  man  save  the  militia  and 
fourteen  men  under  the  command  of  Captain  Kemplen,  and  almost  every  young  man 
of  the  frontier  engaged  in  the  boat  service,  they  suffer  more  than  ever  from  the 
savage  depredations  of  a  horrid  enemy.  Everything  above  Muncy  Hills  is 


When  Colonel  Hepburn  found  it  necessary  to  abandon  Fort  Muncy  he  placed  the 
women  and  children  on  boats  in  charge  of  Covenhoven  and  started  them  down  the 
river,  while  many  of  the  men  marched  by  land  as  a  guard.  Information  was  sent 
to  Freeland'  s,  Boone' s,  and  the  smaller  posts  to  fly,  as  the  enemy  was  coming.  But 
the  settlers  assembled  at  the  two  latter  places  thought  Covenhoven  was  magnifying 
the  danger  and  refused  to  leave.     But  bitterly  did  they  repent  for  their  incredulity. 

In  the  meantime  the  enemy  entered  the  valley  in  force  about  the  26th  or  27th 
of  July.  And  as  nearly  as  can  be  told,  there  were  about  100  Tories  and 
British  and  200  Indians.  The  former  were  under  command  of  Capt.  John 
McDonald,  a  notorious  and  bloodthirsty'  Tory  from  the  vicinity  of  Albany, 
while  the  Indians  were  led  by  Hiokatoo,  a  Seneca  chief,  and  the  husband  of  Mary 
Jemison,  the  "White  Woman."  Hiokatoo  was  born  on  the  banks  of  the  Susque- 
hanna in  the  year  170S,  and  was  well  acquainted  with  the  country.  According  to 
Mary  Jemison's  Biograhy  (see  page  185)  he  was  a  cousin  to  "Farmer's  Brother,"  a 
Seneca  chief  who  had  been  justly  celebrated  for  his  worth.  At  the  time  of  the 
invasion  Hiokatoo  was  an  old  man  of  seventy,  and  had  always  been  noted  for  his 
cruel  and  bloodthirsty  disposition. 

The  white  and  red  devils  came  down  Lycoming  creek,  as  foreshadowed  by 
Covenhoven,  and  dispersing  over  the  vaUey  proceeded  to  burn  and  destroy  every- 
thing in  the  way  of  improvements  they  could  find.  Much  to  their  chagrin  they 
found  Fort  Muncy  evacuated,  but  they  burned  all  the  woodwork  and  made  it  a 
ruin  as  far  as  vandal  hands  could  do.  The  British  and  Tories  labored  hard  to 
demolish  its  ramparts  and  make  it  utterly  defenceless,  and  as  subsequent  accounts 
will  show  they  succeeded. 

Just  previous  to  the  advent  of  the  main  body,  a  scouting  party  in  Muncy  valley 
captured  several  families.  Among  them  was  the  family  of  Abraham  Webster.  Four 
of  his  children  were  attacked.  The  eldest,  a  son,  was  killed;  the  other  three,  two 
daughters  and  a  son,  were  carried  into  caf)tivity.  Abraham  Webster  was  an  English- 
man by  birth  and  settled  on  what  was  the  farm  of  the  late  Henry  Ecroyd.  The  son 
who  was  taken  prisoner  was  named  Joseph,  and  was  twelve  years  old  at  the  time  of 
his  capture.  At  the  end  of  twelve  years  he  returned,  married,  and  settled.  He 
remembered  the  route  weU  that  his  captors  traveled.  One  of  his  sisters  was  thrown 
from  a  canoe  in  Seneca  Lake  by  an  enraged  squaw  and  drowned;  the  other  was  never 
heard  from. 

Eobert  Guy,  who  had  settled  on  a  tract  of  land  lying  between  what  was  after- 
wards known  as  Shoemaker's  mill  and  Muncy,  had  been  warned  to  leave  but  still 


lingered.  On  the  approach  of  one  of  these  marauding  bands  a  messenger  was 
despatched  from  Brady's  fort  to  warn  him  again  to  fly  as  the  danger  was  imminent. 
He  was  found  at  work  in  the  field.  Hastening  to  the  house  he  told  his  wife  of  their 
peril.  While  she  prepared  a  chaff  tick  for  two  of  their  children,  he  brought  two 
horses  to  the  door.  Then  ripping  the  tick  open  in  the  middle  he  removed  a  portion 
of  the  chaff,  threw  the  tick  over  the  back  of  a  horse,  placed  a  child  on  each  side,  and 
then  mounted  to  hold  it  in  place  and  rode  away.  In  the  meantime  his  wife,  with  a 
babe  in  her  arms,  mounted  the  other  horse  and  joined  him.  It  being  too  late,  as 
they  supposed,  to  go  to  the  fort,  they  rode  on  down  the  river  and  did  not  stop  till 
they  reached  Carlisle.  So  great  was  their  hurry  to  get  away,  they  left  everything 
behind.  They  remained  at  Carlisle  until  the  war  was  over,  when  they  returned, 
but  they  found  all  their  buildings  in  ashes. 

McDonald,  the  infamous  Tory,  and  his  savage  colleague,  Hiokatoo,  were  greatly 
enraged  when  they  found  that  the  settlers  had  escaped,  and  they  ordered  their  forces 
to  scour  Muncy  valley  and  burn  every  cabin,  house,  outbuilding,  barn,  and  haystack 
they  could  find.  Fort  Brady  was  burned  with  the  other  buildings.  The  fair  and 
beautiful  valley  was  laid  waste  from  end  to  end  and  all  the  stock  collected  for  their 
own  use. 

Learning  from  his  scouts  that  the  garrison  still  remained  at  Fort  Freeland  (now 
in  Northumberland  couutyj  McDonald  hurried  thither  and  captured  the  place  on  the 
morning  of  July  28,  1779,  and  carried  the  male  survivors  into  captivity. 

McDonald  and  Hiokatoo,  flushed  with  victory,  quickly  retraced  their  steps  over 
Muncy  Hills,  and  hurried  north  via  Lycoming  creek,  the  same  route  they  came. 
General  Sullivan's  army  was  then  moving  up  the  North  Branch,  and  Indian  runners 
were  dispatched  to  urge  McDonald  to  hasten  back.  He  reached  the  Chemung 
country  in  advance  of  General  Sullivan  and  probably  participated  in  the  battle  of 
Newtown,  where  the  Indians  in  a  pitched  battle  were  defeated. 


Col.  Adam  Hubley,  of  the  Eleventh  regiment,  who  was  with  Sullivan  at  Wyo- 
ming, wrote  President  Heed  that  he  thought  500  men  should  be  sent  to  the  West 
Branch;  "  as  they  would  have  it  in  their  power  to  effectually  scour  that  country  and 
be  at  Tioga  nearly  as  soon  as  the  main  body.  This  would  have  given  relief  to  the 
poor  inhabitants,  and  would  by  no  means  have  delayed  the  expedition."  That  Colonel 
Hubley  was  right  in  his  views  will  appear  plain  to  any  one.  But  in  giving  this 
opinion  he  did  not  wish  to  be  understood  as  casting  any  "  reflection  on  the  com- 
mander ;"  he  was  confident  he  was  acting  "  from  pure  principles,  and  for  the  good 
of  the  public  in  general."  Colonel  Hublej'  had  heard  of  Captain  McDonald  leading 
a  party  of  rangers  and  Indians  to  the  West  Branch.  He  thought  the  object  of  the 
invasion  was  for  the  purpose  of  harassing  the  rear  of  Sullivan's  army.  But  in  this 
view  subsequent  events  showed  he  was  mistaken.  McDonald  was  hurried  north  for 
the  purpose  of  protecting  the  Seneca  country. 

There  was  some  friction  between  General  Sullivan  and  the  Supreme  Executive 
Council  regarding  reinforcements.  The  former  complained  that  the  latter  did  not 
furnish  him  with  the  number  of  men  they  promised.  Council  complained  that  so 
mtich  better  encouragment  was  given  in  the  boat  service  that  450  men  were  drawn 


off,  making  it  impossible  to  fill  the  militia  companies.  Then  when  they  wanted  a 
force  to  resist  the  invaders  "  he  not  only  called  off  every  man  he  possibly  could,  but 
took  away  every  ounce  of  ammunition,  though  earnestly  requested  to  leave  some  for 
the  use  of  the  inhabitants."  The  result  was,  says  President  Reed,  there  was  nothing 
left  for  them  to  guard  but  the  "  ashes  and  ruins  of  the  houses." 

Lieut.  Col.  Adam  Hubley  succeeded  Col.  Thomas  Hartley  in  command  of  the 
Eleventh  regiment,  on  the  resignation  of  the  latter,  and  had  charge  of  Fort  Muncy 
and  the  other  posts,  until  he  was  ordered  to  join  Sullivan  at  Wyoming.  He  was, 
therefore,  well  acquainted  with  the  wants  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  West  Branch 
valley,  and  sympathized  deeply  with  them  in  their  distress. 

The  appeals  for  assistance  made  to  Col.  Matthew  Smith  by  Colonel  Hunter, 
William  Maclay,  and  others,  were  not  in  vain.  He  replied  that  he  was  for  immedi- 
ate action  and  had  fixed  on  Sunday  to  march  with  fifty  men.  True  to  his  promise 
the  company  marched,  and  on  the  morning  of  the  3d  of  August  Colonel  Smith 
announced  from  Sunbury  that  he  had  arrived  there  "with  sixty  'Paxtang  Boys.'  " 
The  neighboring  townships  were  turning  out  volunteers.  "Cumberland  county," 
he  observed,  "  will  give  a  considerable  assistance,"  and  the  following  day  he  expected 
to  move  up  the  West  Branch.  "  Provisions  are  scarce,  but  we  intend  to  follow  the 
savages,  and  we  hope  to  come  up  with  them ;  as  the  number  of  cattle  they  have  taken 
is  great,  they  must  make  slow  progress  on  their  return  home." 

Reinforcements  rapidly  followed  and  on  the  5th  Colonel  Smith  found  he  had  500 
men  ready  for  service.  He  hastened  up  the  valley,  reconnoitered  the  country  around 
Fort  Freeland,  and  was  at  Fort  Muncy  in  a  few  days,  which  he  found  destroyed. 
The  country  presented  a  pitiful  appearance.  Scarcely  a  cabin  was  found  standing. 
It  was  noted  as  a  singular  fact,  however,  that  the  Indians  scarcely  ever  destroyed 
corn  in  the  cribs.  Perhaps  they  reserved  it  for  their  own  use.  Before  it  was  con- 
sidered safe  to  occupy  the  country  settlers  came  up  in  canoes,  and  securing  as  much 
corn  as  they  could  carry,  quietly  dropped  down  the  river  at  night.  This  was  done 
several  times  at  Amariah  Sutton's  improvement  at  Lycoming  creek. 

■  Colonel  Smith  and  his  party  advanced  as  far  as  Lycoming  creek,  but  there  is  no 
record  that  they  crossed  into  the  Indian  lands.  A  small  body  ascended  the  stream 
as  far  as  Eeltown,  (now  Hepburnville)  which  was  an  Indian  village  of  some  note 
when  white  settlers  first  came,  but  finding  no  signs  of  the  enemy  they  returned. 
Realizing  that  the  savages  had  too  great  a  start  to  be  overtaken,  and  considering  it 
dangerous  to  follow  them  too  far  into  the  wilderness.  Colonel  Smith  gathered  his 
forces  together  and  returned  to  Fort  Augusta,  whence  in  a  few  days  they  departed 
for  their  homes  in  Paxtang  and  Cumberland  county,  after  an  absence  of  about  two 

Thus,  for  the  second  time,  was  this  valley  invaded  and  devastated,  and  the  inhab- 
itants compelled  to  fly  with  their  wives  and  children.  How  many  perished  or  were 
carried  into  captivity  is  unknown,  but  the  number  was  large  when  the  strength  of 
the  settlements  is  considered.  Twice,  therefore,  was  the  country  from  Muncy  Hills 
to  Jersey  Shore  baptized  in  fire  and  blood!  The  deeds  of  savage  atrocity  commit- 
ted in  the  summers  of  1778  and  1779,  within  what  is  now  the  fairest,  richest,  and 
most  thrifty  portions  of  Lycoming  county,  were  of  the  most  startling  character,  and 
the  bloody  scenes  attendant  upon  the  scalping  of  men,  women,  and  children  were  so 
cruel  and  merciless  as  to  appall  the  stoutest  heart. 




Oephaiss'  Coxtrt  PKO^^SIO^■"  foe  the  Children  of  Refugees — Weltxer's  G-eriian  Eegi- 
MEXT — Ax  Ill-fated  HrxTiXG  Paett — Fate  op  Captaix  Kemtlex — Captaix  Robixsox — 
Fort  ilirxcY  Rebuilt — The  HAiiiLTOx  FAiirLT — A  Heavy  Tax  Imposed — Mt^rdee  of 
the  Lee  FAiriLT — Peace  Declaeed — The  Last  op  Fort  Muxct — Huxtee  axd  Vax 
Campex — Retolutioxart  Soldiers — Ax  Electiox   Coxtest. 

AFTER  the  second  "runaway  "  settlers  were  slow  in  venturing  to  the  valley, 
and  it  was  late  in  the  fall  of  1779  before  any  considerable  number  had 
returned.  There  being  an  insufficient  force  of  militia  and  no  regular  troops,  it  was 
TOnsafe,  as  small  bands  of  savages  still  infested  the  country.  Many  fanners  had  lost 
their  crops,  and  when  they  returned  they  found  their  houses  and  barns  in  ashes  and 
their  fences  thrown  down.  The  Indians  were  greatly  exasperated  because  of  the 
success  of  General  Sullivan  in  devastating  their  country.  A  taste  of  war  had  been 
given  them,  and  a  blow  administered  from  which  they  never  recovered,  but  it  made 
them  more  vicious  and  malignant  and  they  prowled  about  in  small  guerrilla  bands 
seeking  whom  they  could  kill  and  scalp. 


Owing  to  the  disturbing  influences  of  the  past  year  or  two,  the  courts  of  justice 
had  been  not  only  greatly  interrupted,  but  actually  suspended  for  some  time.  At 
the  January  term,  1779,  several  distressing  cases  were  reported.  Many  of  those 
driven  from  their  homes  had  taken  refuge  at  Northumberland  and  Sunbury,  and 
owing  to  their  impoverished  condition  were  unable  to  proceed  further.  Some  pro- 
vision, therefore,  had  to  be  made  for  their  support.  One  very  sad  case  was  that  of 
Albert  and  Catharine  Polhemus,  already  alluded  to.  They  fled  from  Muncy  in  the 
"Big  Eunaway  "  of  1778,  with  their  seven  children.  In  a  short  time  both  died  and 
were  buried  at  the  expense  of  Augusta  township,  which  had  also  to  partly  care  for 
the  orphaned  children.  An  extra  tax  had  to  be  levied  for  their  support,  and  at  the 
January  sesssions  the  overseers  were  authorized  to  indenture  them,  the  conditions 
being  as  follows:  "  To  Elias  Youngman,  Magdalena  Polhemus,  until  she  be  eighteen 
years  of  age,  he  accommodating  her  according  to  the  custom  of  the  country  during 
her  servitude;  to  teach  or  cause  her  to  read  and  write  English;  bring  her  up  in  the 
Presbyterian  religion;  and  at  the  expiration  of  her  servitude  give  her  decent  free- 
doms with  £20  lawful  money  of  Pennsylvania. ' ' 

At  August  sessions,  1779,  "  a  certain  Sarah  Silverthorn,  aged  seven  years"  was 
indentured  to  William  Huburu.  The  Silverthorns  were  also  residents  of  Muncy 
township,  and  their  names,  as  well  as  those  of  Polhemus,  appear  on  the  assessment 
list  for  1778.      There  were  two  of  the  former,  George  and  Oliver,  but  the  records  do 


not  show  what  became  of  them.  The  court  records,  however,  would  indicate  that 
they  had  been  killed  or  captured.  Sarah  Silverthorn  was  indentured  to  William 
Hubnrn,  who  obligated  himself  to  "  teach  her  to  read  and  write  English,  bring  her 
up  in  the  Presbyterian  religion,  and  at  the  expiration  of  her  servitude  give  her  the 
usual  freedoms,  with  a  good  spinning  wheel." 

According  to  the  court  records  for  November  sessions,  1786,  Toungman  had  not 
proved  faithful  to  his  obligations,  ilagdalena  Polhemus  petitioned  the  court  set- 
ting forth  that  she  had  "  faithfully  and  honestly  '"  served  Elias  Youngman  the  full 
term  of  seven  years,  but  that  he  had  not  ' '  performed  the  covenants  in  the  said  indent- 
ure mentioned,  by  furnishing  her  with  her  freedom  dues  at  the  expiration  of  her 
servitude."  The  subsequent  court  adjudged  that  she  should  be  paid  £8, 
in  default  of  which  an  attachment  should  issue  to  compel  payment.  As  nothing 
appears  on  the  records  regarding  Sarah  Silverthorn,  it  is  presumed  she  fell  into  the 
hands  of  a  better  taskmaster. 


Among  the  few  that  returned  in  the  fall  was  Henry  McHenry,  father  of  the  late 
ilaj.  A.  H.  McHenry,  of  Jersey  Shore.  He  came  from  Fort  Kice,  a  post  not  far  from 
where  Fort  Freeland  stood,  on  the  ilontgomery  farm,  in  what  is  now  "  Paradise,"' 
n  the  northern  part  of  Northumberland  county.  He  was  accompanied  by  ten 
men — probably  a  band  of  farmers — and  their  object  was  to  thresh  or  gather  some 
grain  on  a  farm  near  Loyalsock — possibly  the  farm  on  which  young  James  Brady 
was  scalped  in  August,  177S.  As  soon  as  they  reached  the  farm  the  first  thing  they 
did  before  beginning  work  was  to  post  sentinels,  McHenry  being  one.  Stationing 
himself  in  a  clump  of  bushes  he  kept  a  sharp  lookout.  He  had  not  been  in  this 
position  long  until  he  discovered  an  Indian  creeping  up  on  his  hands  and  knees  for 
the  purpose  of  getting  a  shot  at  the  men  engaged  in  threshing.  Watching  an  oppor- 
tvmity  McHenry  fired  and  wounded  him  in  the  back.  The  Indian  sprang  to  his  feet 
and  ran  a  short  distance  and  fell,  when  his  comrades  rushed  up  and  bore  him  away. 

It  was  finally  decided  to  send  a  detachment  of  Continental  troops  to  the  West 
Branch  valley,  and  the  German  regiment  commanded  by  Col.  Lndwig  Weltner, 
was  ordered  here.  This  regiment  was  so  reduced  that  it  only  numbered  120  effect- 
ive men,  exclusive  of  officers.  Colonel  Weltner  made  his  headquarters  at  Sunbury 
and  retained  a  small  number  of  men  to  guard  the  stores.  He  stationed  twenty  men 
at  Fort  Jenkins,  and  Captain  Kemplen's  rangers,  a  local  company  of  fourteen  men, 
were  at  Fort  Meminger,  on  the  west  side  of  the  West  Branch,  nearly  opposite  the 
mouth  of  Warrior  run. 

With  this  small  force  it  was  impossible  to  range  the  country  to  any  extent,  and 
the  predatory  bands  of  Indians  had  little  difficulty  in  eluding  them,  and  in  commit- 
ting depredations.  Colonel  Hunter  wrote  on  the  27th  of  November  that  a  deep 
snow  had  fallen,  which  he  hoped  would  prevent  them  making  inroads  during  the 
winter.  William  Maclay,  however,  wrote  on  the  2d  of  April  following:  "They  are 
with  us  before  the  snow  is  quite  gone."'  On  the  13th  of  December,  1779,  Colonel 
Weltner  wrote  that  the  detachments  at  Montgomery  s  and  Jenkins's  had  left  him  only 
enough  men  at  Sunbury  "to  mount  a  couple  of  sentries." 

The  winter  of  1779-80  was  cold  and  dreary.      And  while  the  great  quantity  of 




snow  that  fell  served  to  keep  the  Indians  from  being  very  troublesome,  the  rigors  of 
winter  were  a  great  drawback  to  the  few  settlers  who  had  mustered  up  courage  to 
return.  As  nearly  all  the  buildings  had  been  destroyed  they  were  forced  to  live  in 
rude  cabins  hastily  constructed,  and  the  difficulty  of  getting  supplies  rendered  life 
under  such  conditions  anything  but  enjoyable.  Fort  Muncy  had  been  so  greatly 
damaged  that  it  was  untenable.  Samuel  Wallis  and  family,  who  were  the  life  of  the 
Muncy  valley  settlement,  and  whose  stone  house  was  the  nucleus  around  which  the 
settlers  clustered,  remained  away  with  friends  during  the  greatest  troubles.  There 
is  nothing  to  show  that  his  house  was  occupied  during  the  winter,  but  as  his  interests 
were  large,  it  is  probable  that  some  of  the  men  in  his  employ  came  as  early  as  pos- 
sible to  look  after  the  property,  and  very  likely  stayed  during  the  winter. 

Colonel  Weltner  wrote  to  the  Board  of  War  under  date  of  December  13,  1779, 
that  when  he  came  to  the  valley  he  only  found  Fort  Muncy  and  Fort  Jenkins,  with 
the  magazine  (Fort  Augusta)  at  Sunbury  standing.  On  the  2d  of  April,  1780, 
President  Reed  wrote  to  Colonel  \Yeltner  from  Philadelphia:  ''This  time  twelve- 
month they  had  a  pretty  good  fort  garrisoned  at  Muncy."  Two  days  later  he 
wrote  to  the  same  party:  "Rebuilding  of  Fort  Muncy  has  been  deemed  by  many 
persons  here  a  very  proper  measure.  Consult  Colonel  Hunter  and  Colonel  Antes, 
Mr.  Martin,  etc.,  of  the  county,  and  if  they  concur,  let  this  business  be  set  on  foot 
with  as  little  delay  as  possible." 

The  remnant  of  Colonel  Weltner's  German  regiment  having  been  withdrawn,  it 
became  necessary  for  Colonel  Hmiter  to  order  the  frontier  companies  of  militia  to 
"embody,"  and  one- fourth  of  the  men  were  kept  constantly  reconnoitering.  This 
was  absolutely  necessary  for  the  protection  of  the  frontier  from  the  small  roving 
bands  of  savages.  Small  garrisons  were  placed  in  the  forts  on  the  east  side  of  the 
river  beloiv  Muncy  Hills. 

On  the  11th  of  September  Gen.  James  Potter  reached  Sunbury  and  assumed 
command  of  the  volunteers.  By  this  time  it  was  learned  that  the  strength  of  the 
Indians  was  greatly  exaggerated,  when  the  volunteers  were  relieved  from  duty. 


Late  in  the  fall  of  1780,  William  King,  Simon  Cool,  and  James  Sweeny  came 
up  from  Northumberland  to  hunt  deer.  They  stopped  at  an  abandoned  cabin  near 
the  mouth  of  Dry  run,  a  short  distance  west  of  Lycoming  creek.  A  light  snow  was 
on  the  ground  and  they  soon  discovered  Indian  moccasin  tracks.  This  gave  them 
no  alarm.  The  next  day  they  went  up  Dougherty's  run,  intending  to  descend  Bottle 
run  to  Lycoming  creek.  One  traveled  on  each  side  of  the  stream,  while  the  third 
walked  down  the  bottom.  After  traveling  some  distance  King,  who  was  in  the  rear, 
heard  Sweeny  call  Cool  three  times,  and  soon  after  he  heard  the  report  of  a  gun. 
He  proceeded  cautiously  for  some  distance,  but  failing  to  iind  his  companions  he 
became  alarmed  and  retui-ned  to  the  cabin,  where  he  remained  all  night  alone.  As 
they  did  not  return  the  next  day  he  concluded  that  the  Indians  had  either  captured 
or  killed  them,  and  fearing  to  remain  alone,  he  got  aboard  their  canoe  and  paddled 
back  to  Northumberland  and  reported  the  strange  circumstance. 

Nothing  was  heard  of  the  missing  men  for  seven  years.  One  day  while  King 
was  standing  in   the  door   of  a  tavern   at  Northumberland,  who  should  suddenly 


appear,  like  one  risen  from  the  dead,  but  Sweeny.  After  a  warm  and  friendly 
greeting,  he  related  his  experience,  beginning  with  the  day  of  his  disappearance 
seven  years  before.  Sweeny  said  that  after  they  had  separated  to  travel  down 
Bottle  run  on  the  lookout  for  game,  he  suddenly  discovered  from  his  position  on  the 
hillside  three  Indians  stealthily  following  Cool.  He  called  to  him  and  warned  him  of 
what  was  behind,  whereupon  Cool  ran  for  his  life  and  he  did  the  same.  "When  they  came 
to  Bottle  run  Sweeny  sprang  clear  across,  but  Cool,  who  was  a  large  man,  fell  short 
and  landed  in  the  water.  When  hp  clambered  on  the  bank  he  found,  on  account  of 
his  wet  clothes,  that  he  could  not  run,  and  they  took  to  trees  and  prepared  to  defend 
themselves.  Cool  had  a  dog  noted  for  himting  Indians,  and  scenting  their  pursuers 
he  barked  furiously  and  tried  to  break  away.  In  trying  to  quiet  the  dog  Cool 
exposed  his  body,  when  an  Indian  shot  him  through  the  breast.  Eising  up  he 
called  to  Sweeny  that  he  was  badly  hurt,  when  he  fell  over  dead.  Seeing  that  it 
was  useless  to  resist  Sweeny  surrendered.  The  Indians  stripped  Cool,  and  taking 
his  gun,  threw  an  old  one  down  in  its  place  when  they  hurried  away  with  their 
prisoner.  After  a  long  march,  during  which  Sweeny  sufFered  much  from  cold  and 
wet,  they  reached  Canada.  There  he  remained  until  he  obtained  his  release,  and 
after  much  delay  and  suffering  finally  worked  his  way  back  to  Northumberland. 
When  Cool  was  killed  they  scalped  him  and  left  his  body  lying  on  the  ground. 
Years  afterwards  the  rusty  irons  of  the  old  gun  left  by  the  Indians  were  plowed  up 
by  a  farmer. 

Sweeny  was  a  lieutenant  in  Colonel  Hartley's  expedition  and  had  charge  of  the 
rear  guard  of  thirty  men,  and  was  noticed  in  the  report  as  "  a  valuable  officer."  He 
purchased  lot  No.  63  on  Market  street,  Jaysburg,  of  Jacob  Latcha,  January  12, 
1796.  He  afterwards  moved  west,  where  he  died.  At  first  he  was  called 
"McSwiney,"  then  "  McS weeny,"  and  finally  plain  "  Sweeny." 

Simon  Cool  first  settled  near  the  mouth  of  Larry's  creek  and  made  an  improve- 
ment, very  likely  on  the  spot  where  the  cabin  of  Larry  Burt,  the  Indian  trader, 
stood.  He  was  an  ensign  in  the  Eighth  Company  of  Associators,  Capt.  Henry 
Antes,  January  24,  1776,  and  captain  of  the  Sixth  Company,  Third  Battalion,  com- 
manded by  Colonel  Plunkett,  March  13,  1776.  Excepting  his  tragic  death,  nothing 
further  is  known  of  his  personal  history. 

William  King  was  born  in  Edinburg,  Scotland,  January  29,  1745.  He  enlisted 
in  a  British  regiment  recruiting  for  America  and  was  sent  with  it  to  New  Jersey  to 
guard  the  royalists.  On  the  breaking  out  of  the  Revolution  he  bought  a  substitute 
to  serve  out  his  time  and  left  the  English  service.  In  a  few  months  he  man'ied 
Elizabeth  Tharp  and  they  moved  to  Northumberland  county  and  settled  on  the  site 
of  Jaysburg,  but  were  driven  away  by  the  Fair  Play  men  on  the  ground  of  being 
intruders.  They  then  temporarily  settled  on  Vincent  island,  in  the  river  opposite 
Milton.  King  served  in  various  capacities  in  the  defence  of  the  frontier.  May  21, 1777, 
he  was  commissioned  second  lieutenant  of  a  company  of  foot  in  the  Fourth  Battalion 
of  county  militia.  His  wife,  who  was  returning  to  join  him,  was  killed  in  the  bloody 
massacre  of  June  10,  1778,  in  the  plum  tree  thicket  on  what  is  now  West  Fourth 
street,  WiUiamsport,  and  their  two  daughters,  Sarah  and  Ruth,  carried  into  captivity. 

He  married,  second,  Martha  Reeder,  March  25,  1779,  and  in  March,  1787, 
returned  with  his  family  to  the  cabin  on  Dry  run.     In  a  short  time  he  re-located  on 


liis  claim  on  the  site  of  Jaysburg,  whence  he  had  been  expelled,  occupied  it,  and 
lived  there  till  his  death,  which  occurred  October  2,  1802.  By  the  second  marriage 
he  had  four  sons  and  two  daughters.  Several  of  their  descendants  now  live  in  and 
about  Williamsport.  He  was  evidently  engaged  in  dangerous  military  service  soon 
after  the  massacre,  for  this  item  appears  in  the  accounts  of  Colonel  Hunter:  "  Paid 
William  King  for  reconnoitering  between  Muncy  Hills  and  Lycoming,  September  6, 
1779,  £30." 


Soon  after  the  capture  of  Fort  Freeland  Colonel  Hunter  "  appointed  Capt. 
Thomas  Kemplen  to  recruit ' '  a  company  for  service  on  the  frontier.  He  entered 
the  field,  May  7,  1780,  and  was  of  great  service  that  year.  Later  Colonel  Hunter 
says,  "  Kempling  and  his  eldest  son  were  killed  by  the  Indians  at  the  mouth  of 
Muncy  creek  in  March,  1781."  In  the  petition  of  his  widow,  who  writes  her  name 
Mary  Campleton,  presented  to  the  Assembly  September  23,  1784,  she  says:  "My 
husband  and  son,  with  others,  went  on  a  tour  of  duty  up  the  West  Branch  early  in 
the  spring  of  1781,  and  lying  one  night  at  the  mouth  of  Muncy  creek,  in  the  morn- 
ing the  savages  came  on  them,  and  my  unfortunate  husband  and  son,  with  one 
William  Campble,  fell  a  sacrifice  to  all  the  cruelties  that  savages  could  inflict, 
leaving  your  petitioner  and  six  children.  We  were  driven  from  house  and  home, 
and  so  reduced  that  I  am  unable  to  return  to  the  place  we  had  improved  upon." 

Thomas  Kemplen  is  first  noticed  as  living  on  the  Indian  land  a  short  distance 
west  of  Newberry,  and  was  at  that  time  interested  with  the  Fair  Play  men  in  dis- 
possessing William  King,  who  had  located  on  a  tract  which  it  was  alleged  he  had  no 
right  to  claim.  Kemplen  was  afterwards  the  owner  of  a  claim  near  where  this  diffi- 
culty occurred,  but  sold  it.  That  he  was  a  squatter  on  the  Indian  land  there  seems 
to  be  no  doubt.  He  fled  with  the  other  settlers,  and  when  he  returned  in  the 
capacity  of  a  soldier,  both  he  and  his  son  fell  by  the  hands  of  those  who  had 
despoiled  his  home,  and  left  his  family  destitute. 

Colonel  Hunter' s  accounts  show  that  he  was  paid  the  following  sums  for  militaiy 

Paid  Thomas  Kemplen  for  recruiting  a  camp  of  rangers,  May  7,  1779,  £75;  May  12th,  £450; 
June  1.5th,  £339  7s  6d.  Total,  £864  7s  6d.  Paid  him  for  the  pay  of  his  company,  August  13, 
1779,  £82  10s.  Paid  him  for  John  Carmady,  sergeant,  to  pay  for  making  shirts  for  Captain 
Kemplen's  company,  September  22,  1779,  £13  10s.  Paid  himself,  October  8,  1779,  £82  10.  Paid 
him  for  Thomas  Moore  for  his  company,  November  19,  1779,  £225;  May  3,  1780,  £112  10s. 
Total,  £337  10s. 

Aside  from  the  foregoing  incident,  the  winter  passed  without  anything  of  an 
exciting  character  occurring.  The  people  had  largely  returned  to  their  homes  along 
the  river  and  were  gradually  recovering  their  equanimity.  The  outlook  was  more 
encouraging  for  peace  than  it  had  been  for  several  years.  Such  was  the  condition 
at  the  opening  of  the  spring  of  1781.  Yet  it  was  not  considered  safe  to  neglect  the 
defence  of  the  valley  entirely,  as  the  Indians  could  not  be  trusted.  They  were  liable 
*  at  any  moment  to  invade  the  settlements  and  murder  the  people  for  their  scalps  and 
then  destroy  their  homes. 

As  the  spring  of  1781  advanced  hostilities,  as  it  was  feared,  were  again  reported. 
General  Potter  wrote  on  the  12th  of  March  that  five  distinct  attacks  had  been  made 
since  the  22d   of  that  month,  and  the  people  were  again  becoming  alarmed. 



About  this  time  a  new  man  appeared  on  the  scene,  who  was  to  take  part  in  the- 
closing  military  operations  in  this  valley.  On  the  15th  of  June,  1781,  Captain 
Thomas  Kobinson  wrote  President  Keed  from  Sunbury,  stating  that  he  was  making 
every  possible  effort  to  recruit  a  company,  and  had  already  secured  fifty- two  men  to 
serve  "during  the  war."  The  want  of  necessary  money  and  clothing,  he  remarked, 
put  it  out  of  his  power  ' '  to  render  that  service  to  this  distressed  part  of  the  county 
he  could  otherwise  do."  Times  were  indeed  hard,  the  greatest  trouble  now  being 
with  the  currency.  Most  of  his  men  were  naked.  "They  have  not,"  he  wrote, 
"a  sufficiency  of  clothing  to  cover  themselves.  Blankets  they  had  none!  "  He 
hoped  Council  would  soon  be  able  to  furnish  him  with  "  clothing  and  what  money 
was  due  his  men  to  the  1st  of  June.  This  would  enable  him  to  fill  up  the  company 
very  soon."  He  reported  further:  " Lieutenant  Grove  has  raised  seventeen  men 
for  seven  months.  Mr.  Samuel  McGredy  has  raised  twenty  men  for  the  same  time, 
and  has  been  extremely  active  with  them."  He  had,  on  the  advice  of  General 
Potter,  nominated  him  as  a  lieutenant  to  command  the  detachment.  Robinson  had 
raised  fourteen  men  for  seven  months,  but  as  his  entire  force  was  mostly  divided 
into  small  detachments  it  was  impossible  for  Van  Campen  and  himself  to  do  the 
necessary  duty.  He  had  therefore  with  the  advice  of  General  Potter  "  nominated 
Samuel  Quinn  as  an  ensign. ' '  He  had  been  ' '  doing  the  duty  of  an  officer  since  the 
1st  of  May."  "  It  would  be  more  agreeable,"  he  added,  "  to  me  to  confer  the  rank 
of  lieutenant  on  him."  As  the  county  was  without  a  paymaster  Captain  Robinson 
also  recommended  that  Quinn  be  appointed  to  perform  that  duty,  as  he  knew  he 
could  "execute  it  without  preventing  him  from  doing  duty  as  an  officer,"  at  least  so 
far  as  paying  his  men  was  concerned.  He  might  be  allowed  a  small  sum  for  this 
extra  duty.  By  this  arrangement  the  Captain  thought  it  would  be  cheaper  for  the 
county  than  to  appoint  a  man  specially  to  perform  this  duty.  He  also  begged 
Council  to  appoint  a  surgeon,  as  there  was  "  not  one  in  the  county — not  within 
forty  miles,"  so  far  as  he  knew.  Neither  did  he  know  of  any  one  "that  would  be 
willing  to  come  here  but  Michael  Jenneys  or  Dr.  Smith  of  Lancaster  county. 

Captain  Robinson  also  strongly  favored  the  establishing  of  military  posts  in 
this  county.  "I  have  had  it  in  contemplation  for  some  time  to  rebuild  Fort 
Muncy.  This  General  Potter  is  extremely  fond  of  and  looks  upon  it  as  the  most 
advantageous  post  in  the  county  for  many  reasons."  If  this  plan  met  the  approba- 
tion of  Council  he  requested  instructions  at  once,  as  it  was  important  that  the  work 
of  rebuilding  the  fort  should  be  commenced  without  delay. 



That  the  fort  was  rebuilt  there  is  little  doubt,  but  the  question  was  discussed  for 
sometime.  Colonel  Hunter  wrote  Vice-President  Potter,  February  28,  1782:  "It 
has  been  in  contemplation  for  Captain  Robinson's  company  to  be  all  ordered  to  Fort 
Muncy  and  repair  the  garrison.  In  my  humble  opinion  it  would  be  the  only  way  to 
have  the  most  service  done  by  that  company.  If  Council  is  determined  to  order  ' 
Captain  Robinson's  company  to  Fort  Muncy,  it  would  require  at  least  100  men  to 
keep  proper  out-scouts  and  repair  the  garrison." 

As  Council,    however,  had  it  in    contemplation  to  remove  Captain- Robinson's 


■company  to  Lancaster,  for  the  purpose  of  guarding  prisoners,  the  inhabitants  were 
greatly  alarmed  when  they  heard  of  it.  They  felt  that  such  a  moYement  would  be 
an  invitation  to  the  Indians  to  return  and  overrun  the  country.  A  petition  remon- 
strating against  the  removal  of  the  company  was  at  once  drawn  and  signed  by 
thirty- six  of  the  leading  inhabitants.  Among  other  reasons  they  gave  for  the 
retention  of  the  company  was,  that  they  understood  it  was  raised  for  their  defence 
and  it  was  not  meant  to  be  taken  away  entirely  from  the  county.  If  it  was  removed 
they  could  not  remain;  they  thought  it  would  be  cruel  for  Council  to  leave  them 
without  any  adequate  protection.  The  petition  was  dated  December  18,  1781,  and 
among  the  signers  we  find  the  following  who  were  residents  of  this  portion  of  the 
county:  Robert  Martin,  John  Caldwell,  Frederick  Antes,  Andi'ew  Culbertson, 
Peter  Hosterman,  VTilliam  Hepburn,  David  McKinney,  and  Heniy  Starrett.  The 
appeal  of  the  petitioners  was  heeded  by  Council,  which  greatly  encouraged  them. 

Strenuous  efforts  were  continued  by  leading  men  to  have  the  old  fort  repaired, 
and  all  the  influence  that  could  be  secured  was  brought  to  bear  on  the  Supreme 
Executive  Council  to  issue  an  order  to  that  effect.  Colonel  Hunter  wrote  that  as 
the  heavy  snow  was  disappearing  the  settlers  were  anxious  that  something  of  the 
kind  should  be  done  for  their  protection.  If  it  was  not  done  they  would  not 
remain  to  cultivate  their  farms  and  run  the  risk  of  being  scalped.  All  that  kept 
them  here  during  the  winter  was  to  take  care  of  their  cattle.  If  unprotected  during 
the  dangerous  season,  they  would  drive  their  cattle  away  and  quit  the  country. 

On  the  6th  of  March  Council  ordered  Captain  Robinson  to  establish  his  head- 
quarters at  Fort  Muncy,  and  directed  the  county  lieutenant  (Hunter)  to  order  the 
necessary  detachments  "  from  said  county,  and  that  the  Vice-President  write  to 
Colonel  Hunter  to  have  the  necessary  repairs  made,  having  due  regard  to  frugality. ' ' 
Owing  to  the  poverty  of  the  county  scarcely  anything  was  done  for  some  time  to 
carry  out  the  order.  The  people  wanted  the  State  authorities  to  do  the  work,  as 
they  thought  they  had  suffered  enough  without  being  required  to  put  this  defensive 
work  in  good  condition  ajfain. 

Colonel  Hunter  replied  to  Vice-President  James  Potter,  April  17,  1782,  and 
says:  "Agreeable  to  your  letter  and  the  resolve  of  Council,  Captain  Robinson's 
headquarters  is  at  Fort  Muncy,  and  I  am  certain  he  does  all  he  can  in  the  way  for 
the  good  of  the  county,  but  as  for  doing  much  towards  the  repairing  of  the  fort,  it  is 
not  in  his  power  at  present,  as  the  enemy  have  made  their  appearance  once  more  on 
our  frontiers.  The  7th  instant  they  took  off  a  woman  and  four  children  from 
Wyoming;  and  on  the  14th  instant  a  scout  of  Captain  Robinson' s  men  came  on 
fresh  tracks  of  Indians  about  a  mile  from  Lycoming,  and  followed  them  up  the 
creek  towards  Eeltown.'"  He  then  remarked  that  he  was  sorry  '"Council  was  made 
believe  that  a  number  of  the  inhabitants  would  move  up  to  Muncy  as  soon  as  the 
ranging  companies  would  be  stationed  there."  He  did  not  believe  they  would 
return  under  such  conditions.  They  wanted  the  fort  repaired  so  that  there  would 
be  a  place  of  some  strength  to  fly  to  in  case  of  serious  danger.  He  believed  that 
"whatever  was  done  must  be  by  the  soldiers  themselves,  in  case  Mr.  WaUis  does 
not  come  up  with  a  party  of  Hessians — as  we  have  been  told  by  some  people — to 
build  a  fort  of  stone  and  lime."  "  This  I  would  like  very  well,"  he  continued,  "  if 
there  was  a  probability  of  defraying  the  expense  that  would  accrue  by  erecting  such 


a  fort.  But  in  the  meantime  I  gave  Captain  Eobinson  orders  to  repair  the  fort  in 
the  best  manner  he  conld  at  present  for  his  own  preservation,  as  I  had  no  assurance 
from  Council  of  any  such  fort  being  built  by  Mr.  Wallis." 

It  seems  that  a  rumor  was  started  about  that  time  that  Samuel  AVallis  was  making 
an  effort  to  secure  the  services  of  a  lot  of  Hessian  prisoners  to  rebuild  the  fort,  but  there 
is  nothing  in  the  records  to  show  that  the  rumor  had  any  foundation  in  fact.  As  he 
was  anxious  to  have  the  fort  reconstructed,  it  is  probable  that  he  made  such  a  prop- 
osition, but  the  idea  of  using  prisoners  of  war  for  such  purposes  could  not  be  enter- 
tained. Out  of  this  proposition  the  rumor  doubtless  started,  and  in  later  years 
there  were  people  who  believed  the  fort  was  rebuilt  by  Hessians.  A  few  might 
have  worked  on  it,  but  that  there  was  any  considerable  number  brought  here  for 
that  purpose,  there  is  no  evidence  to  show. 

Colonel  Hunter  futhermore  stated  in  his  correspondence  of  that  date,  that  Cap- 
tain Eobinson  was  expecting  "some  arms  to  be  sent  up  for  the  use  of  his  company, 
as  they  are  very  much  wanted.  He  exchanged  twenty  muskets  in  Reading  when  he 
came  from  there,  and  he  would  require  twenty  muskets  more  with  bayonets  and  fif- 
teen rifles."  The  Colonel  thought  it  would  be  much  better  for  the  company  to  have 
public  arms,  "for  every  now  and  then  they  [the  men]  are  selling  and  bartering  off 
their  rifles  because  they  are  their  own  property."  When  supplied  with  United 
States  arms  he  believed  this  evil  would  be  stopped,  as  they  would  have  to  account 
for  them. 

On  the  18th  of  July,  1781,  Captain  Johnson,  of  Lancaster  county,  arrived  at 
Sunbury  with  twenty-six  militiamen  to  serve  the  balance  of  their  time  in  this 
county.  They  were  in  poor  condition  for  soldiers.  Fourteen  were  without  arms, 
and  no  ammunition  or  arms  could  be  furnished  them.  Colonel  Hunter  said  "  they 
had  no  stores  of  any  kind,  no^  eyen  provisions/"  The  county  at  that  time  could 
not  have.been  in  a  much  worse  poverty-stricken  condition. 

Colonel  Hunter  immediately  wrote  to  Col.  Maxwell  Chambers,  sub-lieuten- 
ant of  Lancaster  county,  expressing  surprise  that  he  would  send  re-enforcements 
here  in  that  condition.  He  thought  it  would  be  "really  hard"  if  they  were  forced 
to  return  because  they  had  no  arms;  but  he  was  trying  to  get  some  arms  repaired 
for  them.  He  had  not  thought  militia  would  be  ordered  here  without  being 

On  the  22d  of  August  he  wrote  to  Colonel  Hubley,  of  Lancaster  county,  saying 
that  he  would  be  compelled  to  discharge  the  militia  before  their  "  tour  of  two  months 
was  out,"  because  he  could  not  procure  rations  for  them.  "There  is  no  money  to 
purchase  with,  and  the  public  has  no  credit  at  present,  so  oui-  commissioner  of  pur- 
chases can  do  nothing." 


Small  parties  of  Indians  continued  to  raid  the  settlements.  The  house  of  a 
settler  named  Tate,  a  few  miles  above  Northumberland,  was  visited,  and  a  young 
woman  named  Catharine  Storm  knocked  down  and  scalped.  She  recovered  from 
her  wounds  and  lived  many  years  afterwards.  This  same  party  committed  other 
depredations.  It  is  supposed  they  were  the  same  Indians  that  killed  Alexander 
Hamilton,  who  fled  to  Northumberland  at  the  time  of  the    "  Big  Runaway,"   from 



Pine  creek.  Colonel  Hunter  induced  him  to  remain,  as  he  had  three  sons,  young 
men,  to  assist  in  holding  Fort  Angusta.  They  were  employed  as  sentinels  and  on 
scouting  parties.  Hamilton  occupied  a  house  in  Northumberland  that  had  been 
vacated,  and  he  engaged  in  cultivating  some  ground  near  the  town.  The  Indians 
waylaid  him  as  he  was  returning  from  the  field,  shot  and  scalped  him,  and  then  tied. 
One  of  his  sons,  Eobert,  married  Anna  Jackson  and  became  the  father  of  a  family 
noted  for  intellectual  vigor  and  high  moral  standing.  The  venerable  John  Hamil- 
ton, of  Pine  creek  township,  Clinton  county,  who  died  April  24,  1891,  at  the  great 
age  of  ninety  years,  six  months,  and  five  days,  was  a  son.  James,  another  son, 
became  a  Presbyterian  clergyman  and  died  in  1886.  William,  his  brother,  also 
studied  for  the  ministry,  and  was  ordained  at  Jersey  Shore  in  1837.  He  became  a 
distinguished  missionary  among  the  Indians  of  Nebraska,  and  labored  there  for  fifty- 
four  years.     He  died  September  17,  1891. 


About  this  time  the  Assembly  passed  a  law  levying  a  heavy  tax  on  each  county 
for  the  purpose  of  raising  revenue  to  purchase  supplies  for  the  army.  Matters  were 
growing  desperate,  the  currency  was  greatly  depreciated,  the  army  needed  supplies, 
and  there  was  but  one  way  to  obtain  them,  and  that  was  by  a  resort  to  heavy  taxa- 
tion. To  the  consternation  of  the  few  remaining  inhabitants  it  was  found  that  the 
quota  for  Northumberland  was  greater  than  could  be  raised  by  the  sale  of  all  the 
personal  property  in  the  county!  To  impress  upon  the  authorities  the  impossibility 
of  raising  the  amount  called  for,  William  Clark  and  AVilliam  Antes,  two  of  the  com- 
missioners, united  in  a  letter  to  President  Eeed:     "We  are  obliged,"  they  said,  "to 

declare  our  utter  inability  to  comply  with  the  demands  of  that  law Those   who 

have  property  sufficient  to  support  themselves  are  gone.  Then  shall  the  quota  of  the 
county  be  levied  on  the  miserable  few  that  remain?  Their  whole  personal  property, 
if  removed  to  a  place  where  hard  cash  could  be  had  for  it,  and  sold,  would  not  pay 
the  tax."  This  was  a  sorry  prospect  for  revenue.  They  said  it  would  be  useless 
to  lay  a  tax  on  absentees.  The  improvements  were  grown  up  or  destroyed  and  the 
personal  property  removed.  They  wished  to  obey  the  laws,  but  in  this  case  it  was 
simply  impossible.  It  does  not  appear  that  any  attempt  was  made  to  enforce  the 


The  murder  of  Maj.  John  Lee  and  several  members  of  his  family,  some  time  in 
August,  1782,  was  very  cruel  and  caused  much  excitement  among  the  people.  He  lived 
near  what  is  now  the  little  town  of  Winfield,  a  few  miles  above  Northumberland,  on  the 
west  side  of  the  river.  It  was  a  warm  evening,  and  Lee  and  his  family,  with  one  or 
two  neighbors,  were  eating  supper.  Suddenly  a  band  of  Indians  burst  upon  them. 
Lee  was  striken  down  and  scalped,  and  an  old  man  named  Walker  shared  the  same 
fate.  Mrs.  Boatman  was  killed  and  scalped,  and  a  daughter  was  also  scalped.  Two 
or  three  escaped.  A  son  of  Lee  named  Eobert  was  returning  home,  and  when  he 
came  in  sight  of  the  house  the  Indians  were  leaving  it.  He  fled  to  Sunbury  and 
gave  the  alarm.  In  the  meantime  the  Indians  retreated  up  the  river,  carrying  Mrs. 
Lee  and  her  infant  child  with  them  as  prisoners.       Colonel  Hunter  hastily  collected 


a  party  of  twenty  men  and  started  in  pursuit.  When  they  reached  the  house  they 
foand  Lee  and  Miss  Boatman  still  living.  They  were  sent  to  Sunbury  on  litters  for 
treatment,  but  Lee  soon  after  died.  Miss  Boatman  recorered  and  lived  for  many 

Colonel  Hunter  and  his  party  hurried  after  the  savages,  who  crossed  Bald  Eagle 
mountain  by  the  Culbertson  path,  which  came  out  opposite  the  mouth  of  Lycoming 
creek.  When  the  pursuing  party  reached  the  river  next  day  and  crossed  they  foxind 
that  the  savages  had  gone  west,  and  their  fresh  tracks  showed  that  they  were  not  far 
ahead.  Hunter  and  his  men  accelerated  their  speed.  In  crossing  the  mountains 
Mrs.  Lee  was  bitten  on  the  ankle  by  a  rattlesnake,  and  her  leg  soon  became  so  much 
swollen  that  she  traveled  with  great  difficulty.  She  was  constantly  bemoaning  her 
condition  and  imploring  the  savages  to  release  her.  They  refused  and  fiercely  urged 
her  forward.  At  a  point  near  Pine  run,  in  what  is  now  Piatt  township,  she  became 
so  much  exhausted  that  she  seated  herself  on  a  stone  and  refused  to  go  any  further. 
By  this  time,  it  is  supposed,  the  Indians  had  discovered  that  they  were  pursued,  and 
fearing  that  Mrs.  Lee  would  be  rescued,  a  savage  ran  behind  her  and  placing  the 
muzzle  of  his  gun  close  to  her  head  fired  and  blew  off  the  entire  upper  portion! 
Another  seized  her  infant  by  the  feet  and  dashed  it  against  a  tree.  They  then  fled 
with  increased  speed  and  crossed  the  river  at  Smith's  fording  and  ran  up  Nippe- 
nose  bottom.  When  Colonel  Hunter  came  up  he  found  Mrs.  Lee's  body  yet  warm. 
The  sight  was  a  horrible  one.  The  child  was  found  to  be  little  injured  and  was 
cared  for.  They  rushed  forward,  and  crossing  the  river  soon  came  in  sight  of  the 
Indians,  who,  on  discovering  them,  separated  and  disappeared  in  the  bushes  at 
Antes  gap. 

Colonel  Hunter  then  deemed  it  imprudent  to  follow  them  any  further,  and  he  re- 
luctantly gave  up  the  pursuit  and  returned.  On  the  way  back  they  stopped  and 
buried  the  body  of  Mrs.  Lee;  they  then  hurried  over  the  mountain  by  the  path  they 
came,  and  in  due  time  reached  the  scene  of  the  first  tragedy,  when  they  stopped  and 
buried  the  dead  in  one  grave.  The  old  man  Walker  was  buried  in  a  grave  near 
where  he  fell. 

This  atrocious  affair  aroused  the  authorities  to  renewed  action,  and  they  straight- 
way resolved  on  some  retaliatory  measures.  On  the  lith  of  September,  1782,  the 
Supreme  Executive  Council  ordered  militia  from  Berks,  Lancaster,  Cumberland,  and 
Northumberland  counties  to  rendezvous  at  Fort  Muncy  on  the  4th  of  October;  and  on 
the  17th  of  September  commissioners  were  appointed  to  make  purchases  of  commis- 
sary stores  and  hire  pack  horses  to  carry  them  to  the  fort.  The  object  of  this  move- 
ment was  the  organization  of  a  sufficient  force  to  make  another  expedition  into 
the  Indian  country, and,  if  possible,  wipe  the  savages  out.  The  proposed  expedition, 
however,  was  abandoned  soon  after  the  orders  were  issued  to  prepare  for  it,  because 
there  were  indications  of  the  war  soon  closing. 


But  a  better  day  was  dawning  for  the  distressed  settlers.  A  silveg:  lining  was 
discernible  on  the  face  of  the  black  cloud  which  had  so  long  hung  over  them  and 
blighted  their  prospects.  On  the  30th  of  November,  1782,  news  was  received  of  the 
signing  of  a  treaty  on  the  part  of  Great  Britain  acknowledging  the  independence  of 


the  "United  States,  and  on  the  20th  of  January,  1783,  the  preliminary  treaty  of  peace 
was  signed,  and  on  the  11th  of  April  Congress  issued  a  proclamation  enjoining  a 
cessation  of  hostilities,  and  on  the  16th  of  the  same  month  the  Supreme  Executive 
Council  made  public  announcement  of  the  happy  event.  The  definitive  treaty  of 
peace  with  England  was  ratified  by  Congress,  January  14,  1784,  and  the  event  so 
long  looked  for  was  celebrated  all  over  the  land  as  soon  as  the  fact  was  made  known. 
The  inhabitants,  from  Muncy  valley  to  Lycoming  and  Pine  creeks,  rejoiced  as  they 
never  rejoiced  before,  when  the  cheering  news  spread  through  the  land,  for  they  now 
felt  that  they  would  no  longer  be  molested  and  could  cultivate  their  fields  in  safety. 

Soon  after  the  project  of  invading  the  Indian  country  again  was  abandoned, 
Capt.  Thomas  Robinson,  who  had  proved  himself  such  a  vigilant  and  efficient 
guardian  of  the  valley,  was  removed  from  Fort  Muncy  to  Wyoming,  and  in  March, 
1783,  he  was  placed  in  command  of  the  fort  at  that  place,  where  he  served  until 
discharged  in  November  of  that  year. 

Nothing  is  known  of  his  early  history.  He  came  here  from  Reading  and  raised 
his  company  of  rangers.  After  the  war  he  settled  on  an  island  in  Pine  creek,  and  it 
came  to  be  known  as  Robinson's  island.  He  engaged  in  land  speculation,  and  the 
tract  on  which  Youngwomanstown  is  located  was  surveyed  on  a  warrant  issued  in 
his  name,  October  6,  1786.  When  on  a  visit  up  the  North  Branch  on  land  business 
he  was  taken  ill,  and  while  descending  the  river  to  Wyoming  in  a  boat,  exposed  to 
the  warm  sun,  his  disease  was  so  much  aggravated  that  he  died  on  his  arrival  there 
in  August,  1792.  He  had  a  family,  but  the  number  of  his  children  is  not  now 
remembered.  One  of  his  daughters,  Mary,  became  the  wife  of  John  T.  Cook,  who 
lived  on  a  fine  farm  lying  on  the  river  just  west  of  the  mouth  of  Pine  creek.  Cook 
represented  Clinton  county  in  the  legislature  in  1843,  and  died,  January  19,  1860, 
and  is  buried  in  Jersey  Shore  cemetery. 

In  the  statement  of  Colontd  Hunter's  receipts  and  disbursements,  it  appears  that 
he  paid  Captain  Robinson  the  following  sums,  either  on  his  own  account,  or  on  ac- 
count of  raising  his  company: 

For  raising  his  company,  July  11, 1780,  £2878  178  6d;  for  recruiting  liis  ranging  company, 
December  8,  1781,  £130,  specie.  For  tlie  recruiting  service,  Janviary  7,  1781,  £815  12s  6d;  Jan- 
nary  letti,  £811  10s;  total,  £1627  38  6d.  Paid  him  for  raising  his  company,  October  3,  1781, 
£31  10s;  October  15th,  £18  15s;  total,  £56  5s,  State  currency.  For  raising  his  company,  De- 
cember 21,  1781,  £18;  February  33,  1782,  £6;  May  20th,  £23  10s;  total,  £47  10s,  specie.  Paid 
him  per  Lieut.  Samuel  McGrady  for  six-months'  men,  May  20,  1783,  £13  2s  6d,  specie. 

On  pages  766-767,  Pennsylvania  Archives,  Second  Series,  Vol.  XIV,  the  follow- 
lowing  record  of  Captain  Robinson's  "Ranging  Companies"  is  given:  Captain, 
Thomas  Robinson,  April  8,  1780.  Lieutenants:  Joseph  Alexander,  April  8,  1780; 
resigned  June  16,  1780;  John  Faulkner,  June  16,  1780,  vice  Alexander.  Ensign, 
Moses  Van  Campen. 

Captain,  Thomas  Robinson,  February  10,  1781.  Lieutenant,  Moses  Van  Cam- 
pen,  February  10,  1781.  Ensigns:  Samuel  Quinn,  June  26,  1781;  Thomas 
Chambers,  March  6,  1782.     Surgeon,  Alexander  Smith,  of  Lancaster,  July  21, 1781. 

The  names  of  the  privates,  of  whom  there  were  between  fifty  and  sixty,  were 
not  preserved.  Their  duties  were  extremely  hard,  as  they  had  to  "  range"  up  and 
down  the  valley  from  Fort  Rice  to  the  Great  Island,  and  they  were  poorly  paid,  fed, 
and  clothed;  and  with  all  their  vigilance  several  lost  their  lives,  notably  Edward 


Lee,  sergeant,  and  Kobert  Carothers,  private,  while  serving  as  spies  near  Fort  Kice, 
October  24,  1782. 


On  the  departure  of  Captain.  Robinson  from  Fort  Muncy,  the  fortification  which 
had  served  such  a  good  purpose  was  no  longer  kept  in  repair,  and  soon  fell  into 
decay;  but  its  ruins  existed  for  many  years  and  were  pointed  to  as  a  reminder  of 
the  dangerous  times  of  1778-82.  When  the  Wallis  plantation  passed  under  the 
sheriff  s  hammer  and  strangers  came  to  take  possession  of  the  old  homestead,  the 
crumbling  earthworks  for  more  than  fifty  years  were  regarded  as  a  great  curiosity. 
From  year  to  year  the  elements  did  their  work  slowly  but  surely,  until  nothing 
remained  but  a  great  pile  of  stones  to  mark  the  site  of  the  old  fort.  Finally,  dur- 
ing the  absence  of  Mr.  Hall,  (the  owner,)  his  farmer,  in  order  to  make  an 
improvement  which  he  thought  would  greatly  please  his  employer,  removed  the  last 
vestige  of  the  old  military  work.  Mr.  Hall  was  greatly  displeased  when  he  learned 
what  had  been  done,  as  he  wished  the  debris  to  be  retained  as  a  relic,  or  historic 
landmark.  But  for  the  vandalism  of  the  farmer  a  few  stones  at  least  might  have 
remained  to  the  present  day  to  shew  where  Fort  Muncy  stood. 


Col.  Samuel  Hunter,  who  bore  such  a  conspicuous  part  in  the  "times  that 
tried  men's  souls"  in  this  valley,  was  born  in  County  Donegal,  Ireland,  in  1732. 
His  military  career  commenced  in  1760,  and  he  served  in  various  capacities  in  a 
subordinate  position  as  an  officer  of  volunteers,  took  part  in  Bouquet' s  expedition, 
was  at  Fort  Augusta  in  1763,  and  again  in  1768.  When  iSTorthumberland  county 
was  organized  in  1772  he  was  appointed  one  of  the  first  justices,  and  served  in  the 
Assembly  from  1772  to  1775.  He  became  a  member  of  the  Committee  of  Safety  in 
1775  and  served  one  year,  and  of  the  Council  of  Censors  in  1783.  When  the  militia 
was  organized  in  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution  he  was  chosen  colonel  of  the 
First  Battalion,  February  8,  1776;  and  county  lieutenant,  March  21, 
1777,  and  reappointed  April  6,  17S0.  He  served  in  this  responsible 
position,  and  directed  the  movements  of  the  county  militia,  to  the  close 
of  the  war.  His  voluminous  correspondence,  written  in  a  quaint  style,  and  printed 
in  the  Colonial  Records  and  State  Archives  is  of  great  value  to  the  historian,  as  it 
gives  a  true  insight  of  that  dark  and  gloomy  time.  He  made  some  mistakes, 
and  was  accused  of  precipitating  the  "  Big  Runaway, "  by  a  hasty  order,  when  it 
was  believed  that  calamity  might  have  been  averted  if  he  had  acted  with  more  dis- 
cretion and  coolness. 

Colonel  Hunter  married  Susannah  Scott,  sister  of  Abraham  Scott,  formerly 
member  from  Lancaster.  He  died  April  10,  1784,  in  the  fifty-second  year  of  his 
age.  His  remains  rest  under  a  large  marble  slab  in  a  private  burial  ground,  sur- 
rounded by  a  stone  wall,  near  the  site  of  Fort  Augusta.  He  left  two  daughters, 
Mary  and  Xancy,  minors.  His  will  was  dated  March  29th,  just  twelve  days  before 
he  died,  and  was  proved  the  21st  of  June  following. 

One  of  the  most  daring  and  adventuresome  characters — next  to  Robert  Coven- 
hoven — who  figured  in  this  valley  at  the  close  of  the  Indian  war,   was  Moses  Van 

FOBT  irrs'cy  kebitlt.  1S9 

Campen.  He  was  an  officer,  as  already  noted,  of  Captain  Eohinson's  companT  of 
rangers.  He  was  a  native  of  Htmterdon  cotmty,  Xew  Jersev,  where  he  -was  bom, 
■Jannarr  21,  1757.  Hij;  parents  emigrated  to  PennsrlTania  before  the  beginning" of 
the  Indian  tronbles  and  settled  on  Fishing  creek,  a  tribntary  of  the  Xorth  Branch 
of  the  Susqnhanna.  In  his  early  days  young  Van  Campen  became  an  expert  woods- 
man and  an  unerring  shot  He  early  entered  the  military  serriee  and  was  with. 
Colonel  Cooke's  regiment  at  Boston.  In  177S  the  Indians  killed  his  father  and 
brother,  bnmed  their  house,  took  hin>  and  Peter  Pence,  and  one  or  two  others, 
■  prisoners.  There  were  ten  Indians  and  they  started  up  the  Xorth  Branch.  One 
night  while  encamped  near  Wyalusing,  Tan  Campen  managed  to  cut  the  thongs  that 
bound  him,  when  he  released  Pence  and  they  attacked  the  sleeping  Indians.  Tan 
Campen  killed  five  with  a  tomahawk,  and  became  engaged  in  a  hand-to-hand  struggle 
with  the  sixth.  The  Indian  disengaged  himself  and  as  he  turned  to  flee  Yan 
Campen  buried  the  hooked  blade  of  the  tomahawk  in  the  mtiscles  of  his  shoulder. 
"With  a  bound  that  wrenched,  the  weapon  from  Yan  Campen' s  hand,  the  Indian 
dashed  into  the  gloom  of  the  forest,  bearing  the  tomahawk  in  his  quiTering  flesh, 
and  escaped!  Pence  killed  four,  so  that  out  of  the  ten  only  one  escaped.  Of  all 
the  bloody  encounters  reported  with  Indians,  this  one  stands  alone  for  coolness, 
nerve,  bravery,  and  number  slaia  by  two  men  I 

Yan  Campen  and  Pence  released  the  other  prisoners,  gathered  up  the  guns  and 
plunder  of  the  savages,  embarked  on  a  raft,  and  floated  down  the  river  to  Wyoming, 
and  thence  to  Xorthiunberland.  Soon  after  this  we  find  Yan  Campen  serving  in 
Captain  Eobinson"s  rangers  as  an  officer.  Pence,  who  also  saw  much  service,  settled 
in  Xippenose  valley  and  died  there  in  1S12. 

In  April,  17S2,  Andrew  Culbertson  applied  to  Captain  Eobinson  for  a  guard  of 
twenty  men  to  accompany  him  to  Bald  Eagle  creek,  where  his  brother  William  had 
made  an  improvement  and  was  afterwards  killed  by  the  Indians,  He  had  been 
informed  that  his  brother  had  buried  some  property,  which  he  was  desirotis  of 
searching  for.  Yan  Campen  was  selected  to  command  the  party.  He  picked 
twenty  men  in  this  way:  Taking  a  board  and  placing  a  piece  of  white  paper  on 
the  end  of  it,  he  stepped  to  one  side  a  few  rods  and  holding  out  the  mark 
invited  each  man  to  take  his  station  and  fire  at  the  mark.  If  he  hit  it  he  would 
be  chosen.     His  twenty  men  were  soon  selected. 

They  started  up  the  river  about  the  middle  of  April.  Culbertson  and  four  men 
preceded  in  a  boat  and  reached  the  Great  Island  in  safety.  Yan  Campen  and  his 
men  soon  joiaed  them.  They  proceeded  to  where  the  improvement  had  been  made 
and  encamped  for  the  night.  Early  next  morning  they  were  stirprised  by  a  large 
body  of  Indians.  A  desperate  tight  ensued,  but  being  outnumbered  Yan  Campen 
was  compelled  to  surrender.  Three  of  his  men,  Wallace,  Stewart,  and  Craton,  who 
had  been  wounded,  were  cruelly  murdered  before  his  eyes.  Several  had  been  killed 
ia  the  battle.  Yan  Campen  and  the  survivors  were  taken  prisoners.  One  of  his 
men  named  Btirwell.  who  had  been  shot  through  the  arm,  was,  after  much  parleying, 
spared  and  taken  along.  Several  Indians  were  kOled  and  their  comrades  btuied 
them  under  a  log,  which  they  displaced  for  that  ptirpose.  Another  named  Hender- 
son, also  badly  wotmded,  was  afterwards  killed  whUe  on  the  march.  Ctilbertson  and 
one  or  two  others  escaped  in  the  beginning  of  the  fight. 

190  HISTORY    OF    LTCOillNG    COUNTY. 

The  Indians  with  their  prisoners  traveled  up  Pine  creek  and  in  due  time  reached 
Fort  Niagara,  where  they  turned  them  over  to  the  British  authorities.  After  they 
wfere  placed  in  the  fort  the  English  discovered  that  Yan  Campen  was  the  man  who 
had  killed  five  Indians  on  the  North  Branch  and  seriously  wounded  another.  When 
the  Indians  learned  this  they  were  furious  to  get  hold  of  him  for  torture.  The 
English  officers  then  made  him  a  dishonorable  proposition  to  save  his  life.  They 
informed  him  that  if  he  would  renounce  the  rebel  cause  and  join  them  his  life  should 
be  spared.  If  he  refused  they  would  turn  him  over  to  the  Indians  for  torture.  His 
answer  was  characteristic  of  the  man:  "  A'o  sir,  no — my  life  belongs  to  my  country; 
give  me  the  stake,  the  tomahaick,  or  the  scalping  knife,  before  I  will  dishonor  the 
uniform  of  an  American  officer:" 

Being  a  prisoner  of  war  they  dare  not  give  ,him  to  the  savages,  for  he  told  them 
that  if  they  gave  him  up  they  might  expect  retaliation  in  case  one  of  their  officers 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Americans. 

He  was  soon  afterwards  exchanged,  returned  home,  and  rejoined  his  company  at 
Fort  Muncy.  He  accompanied  Captain  Eobinson  to  Wyoming,  where  they  were  mus- 
tered out  of  service  in  November,  poor  and  penniless.  In  a  few  years  after  retiring 
from  the  service.  Hoses  Yan  Campen  married  Margaret  McGlure,  whose  parents 
lived  near  the  present  town  of  Bloomsburg,  Pennsylvania.  Some  time  in  1831  they 
took  up  their  residence  in  Dansville,  New  York,  where  they  lived  for  many  years. 
When  he  grew  old  they  removed  to  Angelica,  where  he  died,  October  15,  1849,  at  the 
great  age  of  ninety-two  years,  eight  months,  and  twenty-four  days. 

John  Mohawk,  the  Indian  who  escaped  from  Yan  Campen  with  the  tomahawk 
sticking  in  his  shoulder,  recovered  from  his  wound  and  lived  many  years.  He  often 
expressed  a  desire  to  meet  his  former  antagonist,  and  a  meeting  was  finally  arranged. 
The}'  met  at  Dansville,  clasped  hands  in  friendship,  and  talked  the  matter  over. 
The  Indian  showed  him  the  great  scar  in  his  shoulder  and  told  him  how  he  carried 
off  his  tomahawk  as  a  trophy.  Long  before  the  meeting  John  Mohawk  presented 
the  famous  tomahawk  to  Horatio  Gates  Jones  to  be  preserved  as  a  keepsake.  The 
weapon  has  ever  since  been  retained  in  the  family  as  an  heirloom,  and  is  now  the  pro- 
perty of  the  old  interpreter's  only  surviving  son — Charles  Jones — the  youngest  but 
one  of  sixteen  children,  who  lives  at  Genesee,  New  York. 


From  carelessness  in  preserving  the  records  and  muster  roUs  during  the  Kevolu- 
tion,  it  has  been  found  impossible  to  make  up  a  full  list  of  those  who  served  in  the 
Continental  Army  from  this  portion  of  the  valley  during  the  struggle  for  independ- 
ence. One  reason  for  the  confusion  that  existed  is  that  Northumberland  was  a 
frontier  county  and  was  constantly  subjected  to  Indian  raids,  and  twice  the  inhabit- 
ants were  driven  away  from  its  northern  and  western  borders.  The  following  list 
embraces  the  names  of  nearly  all  those  who  served  in  the  Eevolutionary  army  from 
the  territory  within  the  present  limits  of  Lycoming  county:  David  Bents,  John 
Brady,  Samuel  Brady,  Henry  Lebo,  James  McClary,  Kobert  Trift,  Cornelius 
Dougherty,  George  Sands,  John  Scudder,  David  Davis,  William  Calhone,  Thomas 
Callady,  John  Murphy,  Thomas  PUson,  Henry  Thomas,  William  Jamison,  William 
Atkins,    Eobert    Eitchie,    Eobert   Covenhoven,    George    Sutyman,  James   Carson, 


John  White,  David  Clamaias,  Michael  Parker,  Robert  Wilson,  John  Hamilton, 
Robert  Lincey,  Samuel  Sealy,  Alexander  McCormick,  Edward  Cavennah,  Robert 
Carothers,  Patrick  McWey,  Patrick  McManus,  Dennis  Higgins,  John  Toner, 
Robert  King,  John  Bradley,  Patrick  McGinnis,  James  Randolph,  Robert  McGran, 
Peter  Davis,  Joseph  Lackary,  Michael  Lachary,  John  Reddicks,  Thomas  ThompsTDn, 
George  Kline,  Michael  Drury,  James  McGinsey,  John  Martin,  James  Cummins, 
Robert  Campble,  Angis  McFaton,  John  Dunn,  Joseph  McFaton,  John  McMeen, 
Thomas  McMeen,  James  Ervine,  Michael  Seajey,  William  King,  Daniel  Callahan, 
John  English,  James  English,  John  Nicholas  Beeber,  James  Davidson,  James 
Thompson,  James  McMicken,  Richard  Martin,  Jacob  Hill. 

There  were  others,  whose  descendants  live  in  the  county  to-day,  who  served  in 
the  local  militia,  and  whose  services  were  as  arduous,  if  not  more  so,  than  many 
who  served  in  the  Continental  Army.  The  survivors  of  the  Revolutionary  struggle 
drew  a  pension  of  $40  a  year  from  the  State.  The  oldest  pensioner  was  Robert 
King.  He  died  March  29,  1848,  aged  ninety-four  years,  seven  months,  and  twenty- 
nine  days,  and  was  buried  in  the  old  Lycoming  graveyard  on  West  Fourth  street, 


In  1783  the  inhabitants  of  Muncy  township  again  became  involved  in  an  election 
difficulty.  At  the  election  for  members  of  Assembly,  sheriff,  and  other  officers, 
held  October  14th  and  15th,  two  returns  were  made,  one  signed  by  Elias  Youngman, 
Anthony  Geiger,  and  John  Tschops,  judges  of  the  Augusta  district,  certifying  to 
the  election  of  Samuel  Hunter,  Jr.,  and  William  Gray,  as  members  of  the  Supreme 
Executive  Council;  William  Maclay,  William  Cooke,  and  John  Weitzel,  as  mem- 
bers of  Assembly;  John  Buyers,  commissioner,  and  Henry  Antes,  sheriff.  The 
other  return,  signed  by  James  Murray,  James  Espy,  and  Simon  Spaulding,  of  the 
Northumberland  district,  and  Richard  Manning,  of  the  Muncy  district,  certified  to 
the  election  of  William  Montgomery  and  Samuel  Hunter  as  Censors;  Robert 
Martin  as  Councillor;  James  McClenachan,  Daniel  Montgomery,  and  Frederick 
Antes  as  members  of  Assembly;  Henry  Antes  as  sheriff,  and  John  Clark  as  com- 

The  former  judges  arrived  at  their  result  by  throwing  out  the  Northumberland 
boxes.  They  did  this  because  it  was  alleged  intruders  from'  Wyoming  were  allowed 
to  vote  at  Northumberland,  and  residents  on  the  Indian  land,  above  Lycoming  creek, 
were  allowed  to  vote  at  Muncy.  On  the  25th  of  November  the  House  of  Represent- 
atives arrived  at  a  different  result,  by  rejecting  the  Muncy  box  alone,  thus  admitting 
William  Maclay,  William  Cooke,  and  James  McClenachan  as  members;  Samuel 
Hunter  and  William  Montgomery  became  members  of  the  Council  of  Censors  by 
counting  all  the  votes,  John  Boyd,  Councillor,  and  John  Clarke,  county  com- 

Linn,  in  his  Annals  of  Buffalo  Valley,  (page  216,)  shows  that  in  the  investigation 
that  followed,  Thomas  Hamilton  deposed  that  at  the  Muncy  election  Richard  Man- 
ning, who  lived  on  Long  Island,  (supposed  to  be  Indian  land,)  acted  as  judge,  and 
David  McKinney,  who  lived  opposite  the  Great  Island,  on  Indian  land,  acted  as 
inspector;  that  John  Price,  John  Hamilton,  Bratton  Caldwell,  William  Tharpe,  and 


others,  who  resided  on  Indian  lands,  had  voted  at  the  jMuncy  district  election  held 
at  the  residence  of  Amariah  Sutton,  on  the  east  side  of  Lycoming  creek.  The 
Muncy  district  was  composed  of  Bald  Eagle  and  Muncy  townships.  The  reader  will 
remember  that  residents  west  of  Lycoming,  on  the  north  side  of  the  river,  were  not 
recognized  as  living  within  the  Commonwealth,  as  the  land  was  still  claimed  by  the 
Indians.     Robert  Fleming  was  the  only  one  from  Bald  Eagle  who  voted. 

Richard  ^Manning  testified  that  he  acted  as  judge,  and  lived  on  Long  Island ; 
that  Daugherty,  who  acted  as  inspector  of  the  election,  lived  fifteen  miles  from  the 
district,  in  Turbutt  township,  which  was  in  the  Northumberland  district ;  that  the 
Indian  land  men  voted  generally  in  favor  of  Montgomery,  Antes,  and  McClenachan 
for  Assembly,  etc. 

William  Sims's  testimony,  with  that  of  others,  in  regard  to  the  Northumberland 
bos,  was  that  he  had  been  up  at  Wyoming,  and  saw  William  Bonham  there,  in  com- 
pany with  Col.  Zebulon  Butler,  and  Bonham  admitted  to  him  that  it  was  his  bus- 
iness there  to  get  the  Wyoming  people  to  go  down  to  Northumberland  and  vote;  that 
Bonham  was  exceedingly  busy  in  inviting  and  persuading  the  New  England  people  to 
go  down  and  vote;  that  Colonel  Butler  told  Captain  Graskins  that  there  would  be  over 
100  down;  that  many  of  them  were  in  Northumberland  and  had  voted,  and 
Bonham  kept  an  open  house  for  them;  heard  Bonham  tell  Schott  to  go  up  to  his 
house  and  get  his  dinner;  and  further  said  the  election  had  cost  him  §20. 
Captain  Spaulding,  one  of  the  New  England  men,  acted  as  judge,  and  Lord 
Butler,  son  of  Colonel  Zebulon,  acted  as  clerk.  There  were  other  depositions  to  the 
same  effect.  A  petition  to  the  Assembly  remonstrating  against  receiving  the  returns 
from  Muncy  and  Northumberland  was  numerously  signed  by  the  inhabitants  of  the 
southwestern  part  of  the  county. 

It  appears  that  fraudulent  voting  was  in  vogue  among  the  pioneer  settlers  in 
this  valley  as  early  as  1783,  and  earlier,  and  that  their  politicians  knew  how  to  "  im- 
port "  voters  to  carry  on  an  election. 


THE    FAIB    PLAY    SYSTEM.  193 



Why  It  Was  Okiglsated  aotj  How  It  "Was  Conducted — jSTew  TcnissHiPS  Erected — Ef- 
forts OP  THE  Land  Grabbers — Wailis  Surveys  above  Lycoming  Creek — Settlers 
Petition  the  Assembly — Law  Passed  foe  Their  Protection — Litigation  Arises — 
How  the  Fair  Play  Cotjrt  Did  Business — Interesting  Depositions — Case  of 
Toner  antd.  Sweeny — Passage  of  Land  Laws — Surtey  op  the  River — The  Walker 
Tragedy — Exciting  Tijie  With  the  Seneca  In-dians. 

THE  last  treaty  with  the  Indians  for  the  acquisition  of  lands  east  of  the  Alle. 
gheny  mountains  was  held  at  Fort  Stanwix,  October  23,  1784.  At  this  con- 
ference the  Indians  admitted  that  the  true  line  of  the  treaty  of  1768  was  Tiadagh- 
ton  creek  (Pine)  and  not  Lycoming,  as  they  had  previously  claimed.  By  this  ad- 
mission a  dispute  regarding  boundary,  which  had  existed  for  sixteen  years,  was 

In  the  meantime  many  adventuresome  persons  settled  on  the  disputed  "  Indian 
lands,"  and  as  they  were  beyond  the  limits  of  the  law  they  were  forced  to  rely  upon 
themselves  for  protection.  They  were,  to  use  a  modern  phrase,  "  squatters,"  and 
could  appeal  to  no  courts  for  redress.  As  the  lands  along  the  north  side  of  the 
river  from  Lycoming  creek  westward  were  generally  choice  the  "squatters  "  staked 
out  claims  and  resolved  to  hold  them  if  possible.  Long  and  annoying  litigations 
followed,  and  the  disputes  which  arose  were  not  finally  settled  without  legislative 

As  the  "squatters"  increased  in  numbers  they  found  that  they  must  have  some 
form  of  law  to  protect  themselves,  with  power  vested  in  some  person  or  persons  to 
enforce  it.  The  vicious  must  be  restrained,  else  the  community  would  become  a 
lawless  aggregation,  in  which  the  weak  would  be  oppressed  by  the  strong  and  every 
semblance  of  a  well  regulated  society  destroyed.  It  was  the  realization  of  this  fact 
by  the  leading  men  among  the  dwellers  on  the  Indian  lands,  which  originated  what 
was  known  as  the  "Fair  Play  System."  Three  commissioners,  therefore,  were 
chosen  by  ballot  each  year  in  the  month  of  March,  whose  duty  it  was  to  see  that 
each  settler  had  "fair  play,"  and  to  punish  those  who  violated  the  local  laws.  From 
the  decisions  of  these  commissioners  there  was  no  appeal.  It  has  long  been  a 
source  of  regret  that  their  records,  if  they  kept  any,  were  lost,  for  tradition  informs 
us  that  the  "  Fair  Play  Men  "  were  often  called  on  to  settle  disputes  and  impose 
punishments.  The  period  during  which  this  code  had  full  sway  was  from  the  year 
1773  to  the  1st  day  of  May,  1785,  when  the  Land  Office  was  opened  for  applications 
•within  the  purchase  of  October  23,  1784;  and  the  Fair  Play  territory  was  embraced 
within  the  present  townships  of  Old  Lycoming,  Woodward,  Piatt,  Porter,  and  a  por- 
tion of  Watson,  Lycoming  county.      It  is  known  that  the  commissioners  for  1776 


were  Bratton  Caldwell,  John  Walker,  aad  James  Brandon.  The  latter  probably  lived 
not  far  from  Lycoming  creek;  Caldwell  lived  on  Pine  run,  and  Walker's  residence  was 
near  Pine  creek.  The  names  of  no  other  commissioners  are  now  known.  It  is  inferred, 
however,  that  ou  accoiirit  of  the  representative  character  of  these  men — especially 
Caldwell — that  they  held  ofBce  for  some  time,  if  not  duing  the  entire  period  of  the  oc- 
cupation of  the  Indian  lands.  It  is  supposed,  furthermore,  that  they  were  the  lead- 
ers in  the  -ith  of  July  demonstration  in  favor  of  independence,  held  at  Pine  creek  in 
1776.  And  it  is  believed  that  they  were  in  office  as  governors  of  the  territory  at  the 
close  of  the  Revolution,  and  continued  as  such  up  to  the  time  of  the  transfer  of  the 
lands  to  the  State  by  the  terms  of  the  treaty. 

As  the  Fair  Play  system  was  organized  for  the  mutual  benefit  of  all  living  within 
its  jurisdiction,  it  has  been  truly  said  that  it  is  a  matter  worthy  of  record  that  the 
commissioners  exercised  their  functions  of  lawmakers  and  arbitrators  with  such  wis- 
dom that  the  "justice  of  their  decrees  has  never  been  questioned."  It  does  not  ap- 
pear that  the  Fair  Play  men  had  any  fixed  time  or  place  of  meeting  to  hear  com- 
plaints, but  were  governed  by  the  exigencies  which  might  arise.  The  court  could 
be  convened  at  any  time  or  place  within  the  territory  over  which  it  exercised  juris- 
diction, and  on  short  notice,  to  try  any  cause  that  might  come  before  it.  It  is  said 
that  when  a  "squatter,"  or  any  other  person,  refused  to  abide  by  the  decrees  of  the 
court  he  was  placed  in  a  canoe  and  pushed  to  the  mouth  of  Lycoming  creek,  the 
boundary  line  of  their  province,  and  sent  adrift  down  the  river  with  orders  not  to 

When  it  was  agreed  to  hold  a  treaty  at  Fort  Stanwix  with  the  Indians,  after  the 
declaration  of  peace,  the  commissioners  of  Pennsylvania  were  instructed  to  inquire 
which  creek — Lycoming  or  Pine — was  the  real  Tiadaghton,  and  boundary  line  of 
1768.  But  as  late  as  December  21,  1784,  before  the  result  of  the  proposed  inquiry 
could  be  known,  the  Assembly  (See  Dallas's  Laws, Vol.  II,  page  233)  declared  "  Lycom- 
ing creek  to  be  the  boundary  of  the  purchase,  to  all  legal  intents  and  purposes,  until 
the  General  Assembly  shall  otherwise  regulate  and  declare  the  same."  The  Indians 
confirmed  this  declaration  by  replying  that  by  Tiadaghton  they  meant  Pine  creek, 
but  the  pitrcTiase  then  consummated,  (October  23,  1784,)  made  their  answer  of  no 
consequence,  divesting,  as  it  did,  the  Indian  title  to  all  lands  in  Pennsylvania  west 
of  Pine  creek,  and  therefore  rendering  it  unnecessaiy  for  the  Assembly  to  legislate 
'further  about  the  line,  and  ending  forever  "squatter  sovereignty"  within  the  limits 
of  this  Commonwealth,  after  it  had  existed  for  nearly  sixteen  years. 


With  the  "New  Purchase"  the  area  of  the  county,  west  of  Lycoming  creek  and 
north  of  the  river,  was  largely  increased,  and  it  was  found  necessary  to  divide  the 
northwestern  townships.  At  the  August  sessions,  1785,  a  petition  was  presented  to 
the  court  praying  for  the  organization  of  the  new  territory  "  for  the  purposes  of 
order  and  a  civil  state  of  society,"  and  asking  the  Court  "  to  erect  that  part  between 
Lycoming  and  Pine  creeks,  being  near  fifteen  miles,  into  one  township;  and  from 
Pine  creek  upwards  into  another  township."  This  was  done,  the  former  receiving 
the  name  of  Lycoming,  and  the  latter  that  of  Pine  Creek. 

Another  petition  presented  to  the  court  at  the  November  sessions,  1785,  resulted 

-^■'3^  f-hy F GJ^T-i^anN-T 

THE   FAIK    PLAT    SYSTEM.  197 

in^the  annexation  of  the  lower  end  of  Bald  Eagle  township  (from  opposite  Lycom- 
ing creek,  and  extending  up  the  south  side  of  the  West  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna 
as  far  as  opposite  Pine  creek,  to  include  Nippenose  valley)  "to  Lycoming  township; 
and  from  the  mouth  of  Pine  creek,  extending  up  the  Bald  Eagle  valley  as  far  as  the 
mouth  of  Beech  creek,  up  the  south  side  of  said  branch  as  far  as  inhabited,  and  from 
Beech  run  a  southerly  course  until  it  joins  Potter' s  township,  to  Pine  Creek  town- 
ship." Bald  Eagle  as  originally  organized  was  about  seventy  miles  long,  and  with 
the  exception  of  Wyoming  was  the  largest  township  in  Northumberland  county.  At 
August  sessions,  1785,  Washington  township  was  set  off  from  White  Deer.  Loyal- 
sock  was  formed  at  February  sessions,  1786,  from  that  part  of  Muncy  lying  above 
Loyalsock  creek. 


Charles  Smith,  Esq.,  of  Sunbury,  who  compiled  that  invaluable  work  known  as 
Smith's  Laws,  gives  this  clear  insight  into  the  causes  operating  to  develop  the  Fair 
Play  system,  together  with  a  resume  of  the  land  law  of  Pennsylvania,  (Vol.  II,  page 
195,)  as  it  related  to  the  code  adopted  by  these  settlers: 

A  set  of  hardy  adventurers  seated  themselves  on  this  doubtful  territory,  made  improve- 
ments, and  formed  a  very  considerable  population.  They  formed  a  mutual  compact  among 
themselves,  and  annually  elected  a  tribunal  in  rotation  of  three  of  the  settlers,  who  were  to 
decide  all  controversies  and  settle  disputed  boundaries.  From  their  decision  there  was  no 
appeal,  and  there  could  be  no  resistance.  The  decree  was  enforced  by  the  whole  body,  who 
started  up  in  mass,  at  the  mandate  of  the  court,  and  the  execution  and  eviction  were  as  sudden 
and  irresistible  as  the  judgment.  Every  newcomer  was  obliged  to  apply  to  this  powerful  tri- 
bunal, and,  upon  his  solemn  engagement  to  submit  in  all  respects  to  the  law  of  this  land,  he  was 
permitted  to  take  possession  of  some  vacant  spot.  Their  decrees  were,  however,  just;  and 
when  their  settlements  were  recognized  by  law,  and  fair  play  had  ceased,  their  decisions  were 
received  in  evidence  and  confirmed  by  judgments  of  court. 

This  last  accession  of  lands  was  called  by  the  whites  the  "New  Purchase,"  and 
when  the  Land  OfBce  was  opened.  May  1,  1785,  emigrants  rapidly  flocked  to  the  terri- 
tory for  the  purpose  of  taking  up  the  choice  lands.  Nearly  all  the  original  settlers 
on  this  land  previous  to  the  "  Big  Kunaway,' '  returned  to  the  land  on  which  they 
had  made  improvements  and  claimed  it  by  virtue  of  pre-emption  right.  Speculators 
were  also  on  the  alert  to  make  purchases  and  the  greatest  activity  prevailed.  Sam- 
uel Wallis  and  some  others,  offered  the  Commonwealth  £30  per  hundred  acres  for 
all  improvements,  and  fearing  a  like  action  to  that  which  despoiled  the  Connecti- 
cut settlers  at  Wyoming,  the  Fair  Play  residents  memorialized  the  Assembly  with 
the  following  remonstrance: 
To  the  HonoraMe  tJie  Sepresentatices  of  the  Freemen  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Pennsylvania: 

The  petition  of  the  subscribers,  inhabitants  of  the  county  of  Northumberland,  most  hum- 
bly sheweth:  That  your  petitioners  have  lived  for  a  number  of  years  before  the  Revolution 
at  and  near  the  Great  Island,  on  the  West  Branch  of  the  River  Susquehanna,  and  were  the 
first  settlers,  and  have  made  very  considerable  improvements  without  having  procured  any 
officers'  rights  under  the  former  government,  and  were  at  the  beginning  of  the  war  obliged  to 
abandon  our  farms  and  fly  to  the  interior  parts  of  the  State  for  refuge,  where  we  were  under 
the  necessity  of  selling  our  stock  for  the  support  of  our  families. 

We  have  lately  understood  that  application  has  been  made  for  the  lands  we  have  improved, 
and  which  we  have  defended  at  the  risk  of  our  lives.  We  humbly  conceive  that  your  honora- 
ble House  will  rather  give  the  preference  to  those  whose  lives  have  been  spent  in  endeavoring 



to  procure  an  honest  livelihood  on  lands  which  were  unappropriated,  and  we  do  conceive  t^at 
the  merits  of  defending  the  frontiers  and  being  the  most  active  against  the  savages  will  have 
its  due  weight  with  your  honorable  House.  All  that  your  petitioners  desire  is  to  have  your 
sanction  for  retaining  our  improvements,  and  that  those  only  who  have  been  tillers  of  the 
ground  and  livers  on  the  land — their  rights  alone  shall  be  deemed  valid  for  their  propor- 
tionable shares. 

Permit  us  further  to  mention  to  your  honorable  House,  that  some  evil  disposed  persons 
have  lately  sold  the  rights  of  other  improvers  in  their  absence,  and  have  even  gone  so  far  as  to 
make  private  surveys.  We  humbly  conceive  that  your  honorable  House  will  make  a  distinction 
between  those  tillers  and  our  claims.  We  can  assure  your  honorable  House  that  our  inten- 
tion and  real  design  is  for  complying  with  the  terms  of  the  Land  OflBce,  and  we  only  wish  that 
preference  may  be  given  to  the  real  improvers. 

Tour  petitioners  are   apprehensive  some   disputes  may  arise   among  us  in  setting  lines, 
which  we  beg  leave  to  request  your  honorable  House  to  appoint   men  as  a  committee  or  other- 
vidse,  as  you  in  your  wisdom  think  best,  to  settle  disputes  and  lines  on  the  premises,  as  we  con- ' 
ceive  disinterested  men  may  prevent  lawsuits  and  give  the  legal  improvers  and  claimers  their 
proportionable  shares  of  the  lands.    And  your  petitioners  as  in  duty  bound,  will  ever  pray. 

The  petitiou  was  signed  by  James  Curry,  William  Dougherty,  Thomas  Forster, 
Joseph  McMahan,  John  Fleming,  John  Baker,  William  Maginley,  Peter  Maginley, 
William  Dunn,  John  Chatham,  James  Erwin,  John  Dougherty,  John  McKinney, 
William  McMeans,  Nichols,  William  Jackson,  F.  Hilor,  J.  Woodsides,  Ben- 
jamin Warner,  Samuel  Fields,  Fred  Bodine,  John  Price,  Edmund  Huff,  Brattan 
Caldwell,  A.  Kitelinger,  Richard  Manning,  James  Forster,  John  Hamilton,  William 
Luckey,  John  Holmes,  John  McElwain,  James  Alexander,  Adam  King,  Robert 
Holmes,  Richard  Suthern,  James  Stewart,  Joseph  Mahaffey,  William  Dougherty, 
John  Jackson,  David  Hammond,  William  Walker,  Edward  Masters,  John  Arkl- 
ridge,  Roger  Brayley,  Thomas  Ferguson,  Samuel  Camel,  James  Jackson,  Robert 

The  petition  is  endorsed:  "Read  one  time,  March  17,  1784." 
Those  familiar  with  county  names  will  readily  recognize  a  number  on  this  peti- 
tion whose  descendants  live  in  this  valley,  while  many  others  have  faded  out  of  exist- 
ence. One  of  the  Fair  Play  commissioners,  Caldwell,  is  a  signer,  and  Richard 
Manning  was  one  of  the  founders  of  Jersey  Shore.  McKinney  lived  on  Pine  creek, 
whilst  Hamilton,  Jackson,  and  Dunn,  were  residents  of  what  is  now  Pine  Creek  town- 
ship, Clinton  county.  Forster  lived  on  Long  Island,  opposite  Jersey  Shore; 
McMeans  on  the  "  Long  Reach, "  and  the  Doughertys,  who  were  conspicuous,  have 
their  names  perpetuated  by  a  small  run  which  empties  into  the  river  on  the  western 
boundary  line  of  Williamsport.  There  are  others,  too,  who  bore  a  conspicuous  part 
in  the  early  days  of  the  settlement  and  contributed  their  full  share  towards  improv- 
ing the  country. 


The  allusion  in  the  petition  to  "  applications  "  having  been  made  for  their  improved 
lands  refers  to  Samuel  Wallis.  As  early  as  1773  Wallis  made  an  effort  to  acquire 
all  the  desirable  lands  lying  on  the  river  from  Lycoming  to  Pine  creek.  Three  of 
his  drafts  show  the  lines  of  his  surveys:  The  first  begins  at  a  point  on  Lycoming 
creek  near  where  Bridge  No.  1  of  the  Northern  Central  railroad  crosses  that  stream, 
or  as  the  survey  designates  it,  "opposite  the  point  of  the  first  large  hill."  The 
line  then  turned  and  followed  what  appears  to  be   the  route  of   the  present  public 

THE    FAIK    PLAY    SYSTEM.  199 

road  "  to  a  marked  locust  on  the  side  of  the  river  a  small  distance  below  the  mouth 
of  Quinashahaque  run,  thence  down  the  river  by  the  several  courses  to  the  place  of 
beginning."  The  "  survey  was  made  on  the  22d  and  23d  days  of  June,  1773,  for 
Samuel  Wallis,  in  pursuance  of  seven  orders  of  survey  dated  the  3d  of  April,  1769," 
and  the  tract  contained  2,328  acres.  The  names  of  the  seven  persons  to  whom  the 
applications  were  granted  appear  on  the  draft,  but  they  are  not  familiar  names  of 
to-day.  They  were  strangers  who  had  obtained  the  grants  and  then  transferred 
them  to  Wallis  for  "five  shillings,"  which  seems  to  have  been  the  established  price. 
This  survey  took  in  all  the  fine  land  lying  on  the  river  between  Lycoming  creek  and 
Linden,  and  it  was  made  on  land  which  the  Proprietaries  of  the  Province  had  no 
control  over. 

A  second  survey  commenced  on  the  west  of  the  locust  tree,  where  the  first  sur- 
vey ended,  and  apparently  followed  the  present  public  road  "to  a  post  on  the  bank 
of  the  river,"  and  thence  down  the  same  to  the  beginning.  This  survey  was  made 
June  24th  and  25th,  1773,  "  for  Samuel  Wallis,  in  pursuance  of  five  orders  of  sur- 
vey dated  April  3,  1769,"  and  issued  to  that  number  of  persons,  and  contained 
1,547  acres.  This  survey  took  in  that  fine  scope  of  farming  land  now  known  as 
"Level  Corner."  The  only  familiar  names  mentioned  on  the  draft  are  those  of 
Elizabeth  Walton  and  Josiah  Hews. 

The  third  is  a  "draft  of  a  tract  of  land  sitaate  on  the  north  side  of  the  West 
Branch  of  Susquehanna  below  and  adjoining  Pine  creek,  surveyed  the  17th  and 
18th  days  of  June,  1773,  in  pursuance  of  eighteen  orders  of  survey  dated  the  3d  day 
of  April,  1769.  It  will  be  noticed  by  the  dates  that  the  work  of  surveying  these 
three  great  tracts  commenced  at  Pine  creek  and  extended  eastward. 

The  eighteen  orders  for  this  large  tract  were  granted  as  follows : 

No.  Name.  No.  Name. 

107 William  Porter .       1147 John  Cummings. 

118 Richard  Setteford.      1873 Samuel  Taylor. 

318 Thomas  Morgan.      1546 Benjamin  Cathrall. 

327 Joseph  Couperthwait.      1558 Peter  Young. 

464 William  Wilson.      1.573 Samuel  Nicholas. 

592 John  Sprogle.      1588 Samuel  Nicholas. 

608 Isaac  Cathrall.      1701 Thomas  Bonnel. 

724 Joseph  Hill.      2127 Henry  Paul,  Jr. 

807 Joseph  Paul.      2231 Joseph  Knight. 

The  line  of  survey  is  indicated  as  follows  on  the  draft:  "Beginning  at  a 
marked  elm  standing  on  the  north  side  of  the  West  Branch  of  Susquehanna  above 
and  at  the  mouth  of  Larry's  creek,  and  turning  thence  N.  45°  E.  400  perches,  thence 
N.  67°  W.  310  perches,  thence  S.  77°  W.  765  perches,  thence  S.  51°  W.  700  perches  to 
Pine  creek;  thence  down  the  said  creek  by  the  several  courses  thereof  to  the  mouth; 
thence  down  the  northerly  side  of  the  "W'est  Branch  by  the  several  courses  thereof 
to  the  place  of  beginning  at  the  mouth  of  Larry's  creek,  containing  and  laid  out  for 
5,900  acres  with  allowance  of  sis.  per  cent,  for  roads  and  highways."  This  draft  is 
signed:  "John  Lukens,  Esq.,  Surveyor  General,  by  order  and  direction  of  Jesse 
Lukens,  per  Samuel  Harris. "  The  latter,  who  seems  to  have  done  the  field  work, 
lived  at  Loyalsock  and  was  an  active  man  of  the  time.      This  draft  is  neatly  drawn 


and  carefully  notes  every  prominent  point  on  the  line,  not  omitting  Long  Island, 
This  tract  embraced  every  foot  of  ground  on  which  the  borough  of  Jersey 
Shore  stands.  The  aggregate  of  the  three  drafts  is  9,775  acres,  and  they  took  in  all 
the  land  on  which  the  Fair  Play  settlers  dwelt.  With  these  surveys  hanging  over 
their  lands,  is  it  any  wonder  they  manifested  alarm,  and  memorialized  the  Assembly 
to  protect  them  ?  If  these  grants  should  be  declared  legal  they  would  be  dispossessed 
of  their  claims  and  perhaps  get  nothing  for  their  improvements. 

But  it  turned  out  that  his  great  scheme  to  gobble  all  these  fertile  acres  came  to 
naught,  for  the  Assembly  at  once  saw  the  injustice  of  ignoring  the  claims  of  the 
memorialists  and  straightway  recognized  them  by  passing  this  act,  which  may  bfr 
found  in  the  same  authority  (Smith's  Laws,)  as  already  cited: 

And  whereas  divers  persons,  who  have  heretofore  occupied  and  cultivated  small  tracts  of 
lands  without  the  bounds  of  the  Purchase  made  as  aforesaid  in  the  year  1768,  and  within  the 
Purchase  made  or  now  to  he  made,  have  by  their  resolute  stands  and  sufferings  during  the  late 
war,  merited  that  those  settlers  should  have  the  pre-emption  of  their  respective  plantations,  it 
is  enacted  that  all  and  every  person  or  persons,  and  their  legal  representatives,  who  has  or  have 
heretofore  settled  on  the  north  side  of  the  West  Branch  of  Susquehanna,  between  Lycomick  or 
Lycoming  creek  on  the  east,  and  Tyadaghton  or  Pine  creek  on  the  west,  as  well  as  other  lands 
within  the  said  residuary  purchase  from  the  Indians  of  the  territory  within  this  State  (except- 
ing always  the  lands  hereinbefore  excepted,)  shall  be  allowed  a  right  of  pre-emption  to  their 
respective  possessions  at  the  price  aforesaid. 


As  foreshadowed  by  the  petitioners  in  their  appeal,  trouble  arose  in  a  number  of 
instances  about  claims,  lines,  and  titles,  and  much  litigation  followed.  A  few  years 
ago  a  number  of  depositions  relating  to  these  land  trials  were  found  among  the 
papers  of  Hon.  Charles  Huston,  the  eminent  land  lawyer,  and  published  in  the  Penn- 
sylvania Magazine  of  History,  Vol.  VII,  page  420. 

In  the  ease  of  Greer  vs.  Tharpe,  William  King,  who  located  on  the  site  of  Jays- 
burg  as  early  as  1775,  testified  "  that  there  was  a  law  among  the  Fair  Play  men  by 
which  any  man  who  absented  himself  for  the  space  of  six  weeks,  lost  his  right  to  his 
improvement."  King,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  the  man  whose  wife  was  killed 
in  the  Indian  massacre,  June  10,  1778,  on  what  is  now  West  Fourth  street, 
Williamsport.     Tharpe  was  his  brother-in-law. 

In  reference  to  this  case  Brattan  Caldwell,  one  of  the  last  Fair  Play  commis- 
sioners, testified: 

In  May,  1774,  I  was  in  company  with  William  Greer  and  James  Greer,  and  helped  to  build 
a  cabin  on  William  Greer's  place  (this  was  one  mile  north  of  the  river  and  one-half  mile  west 
of  Lycoming  creek).  Greer  went  into  the  army  in  1776,  and  was  a  wagon-master  till  the  fall  of 
1778.  He  wrote  to  me  to  sell  his  cattle.  I  sold  his  cattle.  In  July,  1778,  (the  "  Runaway,") 
John  Martin  had  come  on  the  land  in  his  absence.  The  Fair  Play  men  put  Greer  in  possession. 
If  a  man  went  into  the  army,  the  Pair  Play  men  protected  his  property.  Greer  was  not  among 
the  Sherman's  valley  boys  [the  witness  no  doubt  refers  to  the  early  settlers  of  what  is  now 
Perry  county,  who  were  forcibly  removed  in  May,  1750].    Greer  came  back  in  1784. 

The  land  on  which  the  Greers  settled  was  above  Dougherty's  run,  not  far  from 
the  western  line  of  the  city  of  Williamsport.  They  were  brothers;  James  lived  and 
died  on  the  tract  which  was  in  dispute. 

The  summary   process  of  ejectment  in  vogue   among   the   Fair   Play   men   is 

THE    FAIB    PLAY    SYSTEM.  201 

described  by  William  King  in  a  deposition  made  March   15,    1801,    iu  HufE    vs. 
Latcha,  in  the  circuit  court  of  Lycoming  county.     He  says: 

In  17T5  I  [King]  came  on  the  land  in  question.  I  wasinformed  that  Joseph  Haines  claimed 
the  land.  He  asked  £30  for  it,  which  I  would  not  give.  He  said  he  was  going  to  New 
Jersey,  and  would  leave  it  in  the  care  of  his  nephew,  Isaiah  Sutton.  Some  time  after  I 
heard  that  Sutton  was  oflering  it  for  sale.  I  had  heard  much  disputing  about  the  Indian  land, 
and  thought  I  would  go  up  to  Sutton's  neighbors  and  inquire  if  he  had  any  right.  I  first  went 
to  Edmund  HufE,  then  to  Thomas  Kemplen,  Samuel  Dougherty,  William  Mexicans,  and 
Thomas  Ferguson,  and  asked  if  they  would  accept  me  as  a  neighbor,  and  whether  Isaiah 
Sutton  had  any  right  to  the  land  in  question.  They  told  me  Joseph  Haines  had  once  a  right 
to  it  but  had  forfeited  his  right  by  the  Fair  Play  law,  and  advised  me  to  purchase.  HufE 
showed  me  the  consentable  line  between  Haines  and  him.  HuS's  land  lay  above  Haines's,  on 
the  river.    I  purchased  of  Sutton,  and  was  to  give  him  £9  for  the  land. 

I  did  not  come  to  live  on  the  land  for  some  weeks.  One  night,  at  a  husking  of  com,  one 
Thomas  Bond  told  me  I  was  a  fine  fellow  to  be  at  a  husking  while  a  man  was  taking  posses- 
sion of  my  plantation.  I  quit  the  husking,  and  Bond  and  I  came  over  to  the  place,  and  went 
into  a  cave,  the  only  tenement  then  on  the  land,  except  where  Sutton  lived,  and  found  some 
trifling  articles  in  the  cave,  which  we  threw  out.  I  went  to  the  men  who  advised  me  to  go  on 
the  land,  all  except  HufE  and  Kemplen;  they  advised  me  to  go  on,  turn  him  off  and  beat  him  if 
I  was  able.  The  next  morning  I  got  some  of  my  friends  and  raised  a  cabin  of  some  logs 
which  I  understood  Haines  had  hauled.  When  we  got  it  up  to  the  square,  we  heard  a  noise 
■of  people  coming.  The  first  person  I  saw  was  Edmund  HufiE  foremost  with  a  keg  of  whiskey, 
William  Paul  was  next  with  an  axe,  and  many  more.  They  got  on  the  cabin,  raised  the  Indian 
yell,  and  dispossessed  me  and  put  William  Paul  in  possession.  I  and  my  party  went  off. 
Samuel  Dougherty  followed  me  and  told  me  to  come  back  and  come  on  terms  with  Paul,  who 
had  money  and  would  not  take  it  from  me  for  nothing.  I  would  not  go  back,  but  waited  for 
Dougherty,  who  went  for  Paul.  The  whole  party  came  and  brought  the  keg  along.  After 
some  conversation,  William  Paul  agreed  to  give  me  £13  for  m}'  right.  He  pulled  out  the 
money,  gave  it  to  Huff  to  keep  until  I  would  assign  my  right.  I  afterwards  signed  the  con- 
veyance and  got  my  money. 

William  Paul  went  on  the  land  and  finished  his  cabin.  Soon  after  a  party  bought  Robert 
Arthur  and  built  a  cabin  near  Paul's,  in  which  Arthur  lived.  Paul  applied  to  the  Fair  Play 
men,  who  decided  in  favor  of  Paul.  Arthur  would  not  go  off.  Paul  made  a  complaint  to  the 
company  at  a  muster  at  Quinashahague  that  Arthur  still  lived  on  the  land  and  would  not  go 
off,  although  the  Fair  Play  men  had  decided  against  him.  I  was  one  of  the  oflicers  at  that 
time  and  we  agreed  to  come  and  run  him  off.  The  most  of  the  company  came  down  as  far  as 
Edmund  Huff's,  who  kept  stills.  We  got  a  keg  of  whisky  and  proceeded  to  Arthur's  cabin. 
He  was  at  home  with  his  rifle  in  his  hand  and  his  wife  had  a  bayonet  on  a  stick,  and  they 
threatened  death  to  the  first  person  who  would  enter  the  house.  The  door  was  shut,  and 
Thomas  Kemplen,  our  captain,  made  a  run  at  the  door,  burst  it  open  and  instantly  seized 
Arthur  by  the  neck.  We  pulled  down  the  cabin,  threw  it  into  the  river,  lashed  two  canoes 
together  and  put  Arthur  and  his  family  and  his  goods  into  them  and  sent  them  down  the  river. 
William  Paul  then  lived  undisturbed  upon  the  land  until  the  Indians  drove  us  all  away. 
William  Paul  was  then  (1778)  from  home  on  a  militia  tour. 

It  wiU  be  noticed  that  King  says  a  "  cave'"  was  the  "  only  tenement"  on  the 
place  at  the  time,  and  in  it  he  probably  lived.  This  shows  that  "  dug  outs,"  among 
settlers  on  the  western  plains  are  not  new  for  they  were  in  use  in  the  West  Branch 
Talley  over  117  years  ago.  And  although  King  was  dispossessed,  Paul  did  not 
■want  his  improvement  for  nothing  and  paid  him  for  it.  This  show  that  the  code 
did  not  sanction  robbery,  but  aimed  to  protect  all  the  settlers  in  their  rights  and 
claims.  Huff  was  a  typical  frontiersman  and  figured  in  many  exciting  affairs.  It 
appears  that  he  was  a  "moonshiner  "  also,  to  use  a  modern  phrase,  and  his  whiskey 


was  a  powerful  factor  in  adjusting  the  dispute  between  King,  Paul,  and  Arthur. 
He  was  conspicuous  as  a  Fair  Play  man  in  the  enforcement  of  their  laws,  but  in 
later  years,  when  the  civil  law  went  into  operation,  he  became  a  lawbreaker  and 
made  himself  so  obnoxious  in  the  community  that  his  house  (or  "fort"  as  it  waa 
sometimes  called)  was  pulled  down  and  he  and  his  family  expelled  from  the  settle- 
ment, like  Arthur  was  some  years  before.  Captain  Kemplen  was  killed  by  the 
Indians  at  the  mouth  of  Muncy  creek  in  March,  1781.  What  became  of  Arthur  is 
unknown.  Paul  was  the  owner  of  the  land  on  which  Jaysburg  was  built.  He 
afterwards  sold  it  to  Latcha,  who  laid  out  the  town.  All  these  exciting  events — or 
nearly  all — occurred  on  the  land  lying  west  of  Lycoming  creek,  and  now  embraced 
in  the  Seventh  ward  of  the  city  of  Williamsport. 

In  the  land  disputes  Amariah  Sutton  testified,  July  5,  1800,  that  he  came  to  the 
plantation  on  which  he  then  resided  in  1770.  That  Joseph  Haines,  who  was  his 
relative,  came  from  New  Jersey  a  few  years  after,  and  began  to  improve  on  the 
tract  of  land  at  the  mouth  of  Lycoming  creek,  on  the  Indian  land  side,  making  his 
home  at  his,  Sutton's,  house;  that  in  the  course  of  three  years  he  returned  to  New 
Jersey  and  never  came  back.    "  We  were  all  driven  ofP  by  the  Indians  in  May,  1778." 

John  Sutton,  a  relative  of  Amariah,  made  his  deposition  regarding  his  knowledge 
of  these  claimants,  March  13,  1797,  as  follows: 

I  came  to  Lycoming  creek  in  1772,  went  to  the  Indian  land  in  1773,  and  have  lived  there 
ever  since,  except  during  the  "  Kunaway."  There  was  a  law  of  the  Fair  Play  men,  that  if  any 
man  left  his  Improvement  six  weeks  without  leaving  some  person  to  continue  his  improvement 
he  lost  the  right  to  push  his  improvement.  After  the  war  I  was  one  of  the  first  to  come  back. 
I  helieve  that  William  Tharpe  and  myself  were  jthe  two  first  men  who  came  to  the  Indian 
lands.  I  never  understood  that  William  Greer's  claim  extended  as  far  as  where  Tharpe  now 
lives;  the  improvement  made  by  William  Greer  was  near  the  house  in  which  Greer  now  lives. 
A  man  named  Perkins  lived  on  the  land  in  dispute  between  William  Greer  and  William 
Tharpe.  In  the  winter  of  1775-76,  Thomas  Kemplen  bought  out  Perkins,  and  Kemplen  sold  to- 
James  Armstrong,  commonly  called  "  Curly  Armstrong."  I  saw  William  King  living  in  the 
cabin  in  which  Tharpe  now  lives.  I  sold  my  place  which  adjoined  William  Tharpe's  to  John 
Clark.  I  came  back  after  the  war  with  the  first  that  came  in  '83.  William  Dougherty  lived  on 
Tharpe's  land,  after  him  Richard  Sutton.  Sutton  lived  in  the  cabin  in  '84  or  '85.  I  am  sure  he 
lived  there  before  Mr.  Edmiston  came  up  to  survey. 

Samuel  Edminston,  to  whom  he  refers,  was  the  deputy  surveyor  of  district  No. 
17,  which  embraced  the  Indian,  or  Fair  Play,  land.  He  made  the  survey  of  the 
William  Greer  tract,  302  acres  and  148  perches,  December  4,  1788,  on  a  warrant 
issued  May  6,  1785.  The  return  of  survey  calls  for  John  Sutton's  land  on  the  east, 
and  Widow  Kemplen  and  John  Clark's  land  on  the  south. 

After  the  passage  of  the  act  giving  original,  or  Fair  Play,  settlers  a  "  right  of 
pre-emption  to  their  respective  possessions"  at  a  certain  price,  it  was  laid  down  as 
a  rule  that  to  establish  their  claim  it  must  be  shown  that  the  claimant  had  made  an 
actual  settlement  before  1780,  and  no  claim  was  to  be  admitted  for  more  than  300 
acres,  and  the  consideration  tendered  to  the  receiver  general  of  the  Land  Office  on 
or  before  the  1st  of  November,  1785.  Several  cases  of  litigation  arose  among 
settlers  which  were  decided  under  the  pre-emption  clause.  The  first  was  John  Hughes 
against  Henry  Dougherty,  tried  in  1791.  The  plaintiff  claimed  under  a  warrant  of 
May  2,  1785,  for  the  premises,  and  a  survey  made  thereon  the  10th  of  January, 
1786.      On  the   20th  of  June,    1786,   the  defendant  entered  a  caveat  against  the 

THE    FAIK    PLAY    SYSTEM.  203 

claims  of  the  plaintiff,  and  on  the  5th  of  October  following  took  out  a  warrant  for 
the  land  in  dispute,  on  which  he  was  then  settled.  Both  claimed  the  pre-emption  of 
1784.     The  facts  given  in  evidence  are  as  follows: 

In  1773,  one  James  Hughes,  a  brother  of  the  plaintiff,  settled  on  the  land  in  question,  and 
made  some  small  imjirovements.  In  the  next  year  he  enlarged  his  improvement,  and  cut  logs 
to  build  a  house.  In  the  winter  following  he  went  to  his  father's,  in  Donegal,  in  Lancaster 
county,  and  died  there.  His  elder  brother,  Thomas,  was  at  that  time  settled  on  the  Indian  land, 
and  some  of  the  Fair  Play  men,  who  assembled  together,  made  a  resolution,  (which  they  agreed 
to  enforce  as  the  law  of  the  place,)  that  "  if  any  person  was  absent  from  his  settlement  for  six 
weeks,  he  should  forfeit  his  right." 

In  the  spring  of  1775  Dougherty  came  to  the  settlement,  and  was  advised  by  the 
Fair  Play  men  to  settle  on  the  premises  which  Hughes  had  left.  He  followed  their 
advice  and  built  a  cabin.  John  Hughes,  the  plaintiff,  soon  after  appeared  and 
claimed  the  improvement  in  the  right  of  his  brother;  and,  aided  by  Thomas  Hughes, 
he  took  possession  of  the  cabin.  Dougherty  rallied  his  friends  and  a  fight  ensued, 
in  which  Hughes  was  beaten  and  driven  off,  and  Dougherty  retained  possession. 
He  continued  to  improve,  built  a  house  and  stable,  and  cleared  about  ten  acres  of 
ground.  In  1778  he  was  driven  off  by  the  Indians  and  went  into  the  army.  When 
the  war  closed  both  parties  returned  and  laid  claim  to  the  land.  A  suit  followed, 
when  the  jury,  after  hearing  the  evidence  and  arguments,  decided  in  favor  of 


Another  curious  case,  between  John  Toner  and  Morgan  Sweeny,  appears  on  the 
records.  Toner  settled  on  the  Indian  land  in  1773,  a  few  miles  west  of  the  Dough- 
erty improvement;  but  he  exchanged  his  place  for  another,  on  which  he  resided, 
with  the  view  of  making  a  permanent  home  for  himself  and  family.  When  the  war 
broke  out  and  there  was  a  call  for  men  he  was  disposed  to  enlist,  but  hesitated  for 
fear  he  would  forfeit  his  improvement  under  the  Fair  Play  law.  His  friends,  how- 
ever, promised  to  protect  his  claim  for  him  and  he  entered  the  army. 

In  1775  Sweeny  entered  into  a  contract  with  him  (Toner)  to  lease  the  land  under 
conditions  that  he  should  make  certain  improvements  on  the  place  for  the  benefit  of 
Toner.  This  lease  was  deposited  in  the  hands  of  a  third  party  to  hold.  Mrs.  Sweeny, 
however,  managed  to  get  hold  of  the  lease  and  she  and  her  husband  destroyed  it, 
thinking  by  so  doing  to  make  the  place  their  own.  They  continued  to  occupy 
it  till  driven  off  by  the  Indians.  In  the  meantime  Toner  was  absent  from  the  set- 
tlement in  the  service  of  his  country.  When  he  returned  from  the  army  he  found 
Sweeny  in  possession  of  his  improvement  and  he  refused  to  give  it  up,  denying  that 
there  was  any  contract  or  lease  requiring  him  to  do  so.  Toner  brought  a  suit  of 
ejectment  in  the  court  and  won. 


As  has  been  stated  the  Land  Office  opened  for  the  sale  of  land  in  the  New 
Purchase,  July  1,  1885,  at  £30  per  hundred  acres.  The  price  was  too  high 
for  extensive  speculations,  and  such  portions  only  were  selected  and  purchased  as 
were  considered  worth  the  £30,  and  the  balance  rejected.  In  1792  the  leg- 
islature perceived  the  fact  that  "  the  vacant  lands  were  so  high  as  to  discourage 

204  HI8T0ET    OF    LYCOMING    COUNTY. 

settlers  from  purchasing  them,"  and  the  price  was  reduced  to  £5  per  hun- 
dred acres.  Much  of  the  mountain  land  was  still  considered  too  high  at  the  reduced 
price,  and  remained  uncalled  for.  The  act  of  1792  was  short  lived.  In  1794  an 
entire  change  in  the  system  took  place.  The  supplement,  passed  September  22, 
1794.  to  the  act  of  April  22.  1794,  g;ranted  the  vacant  lands  of  the  Commonwealth 
only  to  actual  settlers.  This  law  arrested  speculation,  and  the  state  of  things  con- 
tinued in  regard  to  the  purchase  of  17S4  until  1S17,  the  vacant  lands  of  the  Com- 
monwealth being  granted  only  to  actual  settlers. 

lu  order  to  more  clearly  define  the  law  relating  to  land  titles  the  Assembly  under 
date  of  April  6,  1802,  passed  an  act  which  declared  "  that  after  May  next  no  con- 
veyance of  any  land  within  the  counties  of  Lycoming,  Luzerne,  and  Wayne  shall  be 
good  or  effectual  to  pass  any  right,  title,  estate,  interest,  or  claim  whatever,  unless 
the  title  to  the  land  in  such  conveyance  mentioned  is  derived  from  this  State,  or  the 
late  Proprietaries  thereof,  before  the  4th  of  July,  1776;  and  unless  the  said  convey- 
ance shall  expressly  refer  to  and  recite  the  substance  of  the  warrant,  survey,  patent, 
or  title  under  which  the  same  is  so  derived  from  this  State." 

The  act  of  ilarch  10,  1S17,  opened  the  office  at  826.66  the  hundred  acres,  freed 
from  the  conditions  of  settlement;  yet  vacant  lands  were  open  to  the  settler,  and  his 
rights  held  sacred.  In  the  long  interval  from  1794  the  spirit  of  speculation  had 
subsided,  tracts  were  abandoned  by  distant  owners  as  not  worth  keeping,  and  the 
annually  accruing  charges  overlooked  and  forgotten  by  them,  and  sold  by  thousands 
of  acres  for  taxes.  On  the  I'Sth.  of  March,  1815,  the  legislature  made  every  effort 
to  confer  good  titles  on  purchases  at  tax  sales,  allowing  a  period  of  two  years  for 
redemption  on  tender  of  taxes  and  costs,  with  twenty-five  per  cent,  on  the  same, 
and  with  no  inconsiderable  aid  from  the  Supreme  court  the  object  has  been  pretty 
fully  attained. 

Thus  encouraged,  adventurers  became  numerous  in  a  new  mode  of  land  jobbing. 
Instead  of  resorting  to  the  Land  Office  for  rights  at  §26. 66  the  hundred  acres,  they 
applied  to  the  commissioners  of  counties  or  attended  sales  of  the  treasturers,  where 
they  procured  land  in  any  quantity  at  less  than  that  sum  by  the  thousands  of  acres. 
Vacant  mountain  land  was  suffered  to  remain  vacant,  even  if  the  fact  of  its  vacancy 
were  generally  known,  when  plenty  of  the  same  sort  and  size,  and  patented  in  the 
bargain,  were  offering  at  the  court  house  doors  at  greatly  inferior  prices.  The  act 
of  1817  thus  nullified  the  act  of  1815  at  its  birth,  and  effectually  turned  the  eyes  of 
adventurers  from  the  Land  Office  to  the  commissioners"  office. 

rSfCEOEliTS    OF   FATE    PLAT    LAW. 

In  the  administration  of  the  Fair  Play  laws  some  amusing  as  well  as  serious 
cases  came  before  the  commissioners  for  adjustment.  Joseph  Antes  related  this: 
A  squatter  named  Francis  Clark  located  a  short  distance  west  of  Jersey  Shore.  He 
mysteriously  came  into  possession  of  a  dog.  In  a  short  time  a  friendly  Indian 
claimed  that  he  (Clark)  had  stolen  the  dog  from  him  and  made  complaint  to  the 
Fair  Play  men.  They  heard  the  case,  found  Clark  guilty,  and  sentenced  him  to 
receive  a  certain  number  of  lashes.  Lots  were  drawn  to  decide  who  should  admin- 
ister the  lashes,  by  placing  a  grain  of  com  for  each  man  present,  with  one  red 
grain,  in  a  bag.      Whoever  drew  the  red  grain  was  to  do  the  flogging.     Phillip  Antes 

THE'  FAIR    PLAT    SYSTEM.  205 

drew  the  red  grain  and  lie  at  once  made  preparations  to  inflict  the  punishment. 
Seeing  that  Clark  was  about  to  be  flogged,  the  Indian,  who  was  a  tender-hearted 
savage  (?)  became  sympathetic  and  made  a  proposition  that  if  he  would  abandon  the 
land  where  he  had  settled  he  would  recommend  that  the  sentence  be  remitted. 
Clark  was  given  a  few  minutes  for  consideration,  when  he  decided  to  leave.  He 
transferred  his  claim  to  Andrew  Boggs,  who  afterwards  disposed  of  it  to  Samuel 
Campbell  and  he  conveyed  it  to  James  Forster. 

Another  anecdote  illustrates  Fair  Play  principles.  When  Chief  Justice  McKean 
was  holding  court  at  one  time  in  this  district  he  inquired,  partly  from  curiosity  and 
partly  in  reference  to  the  case  before  hirh,  of  a  shrewd  Irishman  named  Peter  Rodey, 
if  he  could  tell  him  what  the  provisions  of  the  Fair  Play  code  were.  Peter's  memory 
did  not  exactly  serve  him  as  to  details,  and  he  could  only  convey  an  idea  of  them  by 
comparison,  so,  scratching  his  head,  he  answered:  "All  I  can  say  is,  that  since  your 
Honor's  coorts  have  come  among  us.  Fair  Play  has  ceased  and  law  has  taken  its 
place!"  This  sharp  rejoinder  created  a  good  deal  of  merriment  in  court,  and 
Justice  McKean  was  satisfied  to  ask  no  more  questions  reflecting  on  the  tribunal. 

The  ninth  decade  of  the  eighteenth  century  was  rapidly  drawing  to  a  close.  The 
influx  of  emigrants  continued,  and  the  valley  rapidly  filled  with  inhabitants.  Farms 
were  opened  on  every  hand,  improvements  made,  and  the  people  began  to  recover 
from  the  blighting  effects  of  war. 


The  navigation  of  the  Susquehanna  river  was  at  an  early  period  considered  as  an 
important  object  to  the  trade  of  the  State,  and  not  only  engaged  the  attention  of  the 
State  government,  but  of  many  societies  and  individuals.  Previous  to  1770  the 
Philosophical  Society  of  Philadelphia  appointed  a  committee  to  view  the  Susque- 
hanna and  its  lower  falls,  that  proper  measures  might  be  recommended  to  render  the 
water  communication  complete  to  Peachbottom  Ferry.  The  committee  made  their 
report  the  16th  of  February,  1770,  in  which  they  stated  the  great  obstacles  in  the 
channel  that  would  have  to  be  removed.  Philadelphia  was  greatly  interested,  on 
account  of  having  trade  drawn  to  that  city,  and  for  a  long  time  it  was  the  belief  that 
water  communication  could  be  established  between  that  place  and  Lake  Erie,  by 
building  canals  and  utilizing  the  rivers.  The  legislature  also  had  the  matter  under 
consideration  early,  and  surveys  were  made  and  large  sums  of  money  spent  to 
demonstrate  the  feasibility  of  the  project. 

On  the  9th  of  April,  1790,  the  Supreme  Executive  Council  commissioned  Samuel 
Maclay,  Timothy  Matlack,  and  John  Adlum,  experienced  surveyors,  to  examine  the 
head  waters  of  the  river  and  explore  the  streams  of  the  "New  Purchase,"  to  dis- 
cover, if  possible,  a  route  for  a  road  or  canal  to  connect  the  waters  of  the  Allegheny 
with  the  West  BraDcH  and  Schuylkill.  The  commission  started  from  Lebanon  the 
latter  part  of  April,  1790,  descended  the  Swatara  to  Middletown,  and  then  ascended 
the  river  by  boat,  making  surveys  and  noting  the  condition  of  the  channel.  During 
the  time  employed  in  making  this  survey,  Mr.  Maclay  kept  a  daily  personal  journal, 
which  is  still  in  existence,  wherein  he  entered  everything  of  interest  that  occurred 
diu-ing  their  long  and  tedious  journey. 

May  21,  1790,  they  entered  the  present  limits  of  Lycoming  county  and  "  pushed 


up  about  six  miles  when  we  [they]  stopped  and  breakfasted."  About  2  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon  they  reached  a  point  about  two  miles  above  Wallis's  island,  where  they 
camped  for  the  night.  This  large  island  lies  in  the  river  in  front  of  the  Wallis,  or 
Hall  mansion,  and  is  a  fine  body  of  land,  belonging  to  the  estate.  On  Saturday, 
the  22d  of  May — according  to  an  entry  in  Mr.  Maclay"s  journal — they  "passed  up 
the  race  ground  early  in  the  morning,  and  stopped  and  leveled  it."  He  gives  the 
result  as  follows  : 

Fore  sight,  394 ;  tjack  sight,  781 :  difference,  387,  in  103  perches  distance.  In  this  place 
there  are  two  large  flat  stones  and  a  number  of  loose  ones  to  be  removed,  which,  when  done, 
boats  can  with  ease  and  safety  be  towed  up  this  place.  From  thence  to  Loyalsock  ripples  is  a 
fine,  easy  current.  Loyalsock  ripples:  Back  sight,  91.5;  fore  sight,  535;  difference,  380,  in  103 

The  "  Eace  Ground  "  island  lies  in  the  river  about  a  mile  below  the  mouth  of 
Loyalsock,  and  was  so  named  because  the  water  runs  swiftly  around  it  on  the  side 
next  Bald  Eagle  mountain.  It  was  a  dangerous  place  for  boats  and  rafts,  and  many 
have  been  wrecked  on  the  head  of  the  island,  as  the  water  rushes  to  the  right  with 
great  velocity.  Care,  therefore,  was  required  on  the  part  of  pilots  to  prevent  their 
crafts  from  being  drawn  on  the  bar  at  the  head  of  the  island.  The  ascent  of  the 
ripples  below,  as  well  as  the  "  Race  Ground  "  above,  was  always  difficult  to  make 
with  loaded  boats.  Strong  iron  rings  were  fastened  in  a  number  of  rocks  exposed 
in  these  riples,  through  which  a  rope  was  passed  and  brought  back  to  a  windlass  on 
the  boat,  to  enable  the  boatmen  to  haul  their  craft  up  by  means  of  this  power. 
Several  of  these  rings  may  yet  be  seen  in  the  rocks. 

After  surveying  the  ''  race  ground,"  Mr.  Maclay  informs  us  they  passed  up  the 
river  and  encamped  for  the  "  night  opposite  a  small  island  called  Toner's  island," 
and  on  the  23d  they  started  early,  and  as  "the  men  worked  hard  all  day,"  they 
"reached  the  mouth  of  Bald  Eagle  a  little  before  sundown,"  where  they  en- 

He  makes  no  mention  of  Williamsport.  because  there  were  no  settlements  on  its 
site  at  that  day,  excepting  those  of  Amariah  Sutton  and  two  or  three  other  improve- 
ments on  Lycoming  creek,  nearly  a  mile  from  the  river.  There  were  some  improve- 
ments on  the  site  of  Jaysburg,  and  Culbertson's  mill  and  house  were  on  the  south 
side  of  the  river,  opposite  the  mouth  of  Lycoming.  Toner' s  island,  where  they  en- 
camped, (then  quite  large)  was  in  the  river  opposite  Linden.  Since  that  time  it  has 
been  almost  entirely  washed  away  by  the  action  of  the  water.  No  other  places  are 
mentioned  by  him  tDl  Great  Island  was  reached.  There  they  succeeded  in  pur- 
chasing three  horses,  when  they  hurried  up  the  river,  reaching  Sinnemahoning  the 
29th  of  May. 


In  June,  1790,  an  affair  occurred  on  Pine  creek  which  caused  much  talk  as  well 
as  trouble.  It  was  known  as  the  "Walker  tragedy."  At  that  time  Seneca  Indians 
were  in  the  habit  of  coming  from  their  villages  on  the  Genesee  to  hunt  along  Pine 
creek,  and  they  frequently  remained  till  late  in  the  fall.  They  were  on  good  terms 
with  the  whites  and  often  stayed  over  night  at  their  houses,  sleeping  on  the  floor, 
Indian  fashion,  before  the  fire  which  burned  in  the  chimney  places.  They  kept  up 
this  practice  until  the  last  Indian  disappeared. 

THE    FAIR    PLAY    SYSTEM.  207 

At  the  time  mentioned,  three  brothers,  Benjamin,  Joseph,  and  Henry  Walker, 
lived  on  a  farm  not  far  above  the  mouth  of  Pine  creek.  Their  father,  John  Walker, 
was  killed  and  barbarously  scalped  at  the  time  _  the  Lee  family  were  so  atrociously 
murdered  by  a  band  of  marauding  Indians  in  August,  178'2,  a  few  miles  above 
Northumberland.  Two  Indians,  one  middle-aged,  the  other  quite  young,  came  into 
the  Pine  creek  settlement  on  a  hunting  expedition  and  remained  for  some  time. 
One  day  they  were  at  the  public  house  of  a  man  named  Stephenson,  near  the  mouth 
of  the  creek — probably  where  the  public  road  crosses  that  stream.  A  number  of 
men  were  collected  there,  the  Walker  brothers  being  among  them.  The  Indians 
became  intoxicated  and  performed  some  drunken  antics  for  the  amusement  of  the 
spectators.  The  older  Indian  threw  himself  on  the  ground  before  the  Walkers,  and 
making  the  most  horrid  grimaces  said:  "  This  is  the  way  your  father  acted  when  I 
killed  and  scalped  him!" 

The  brothers  became  greatly  enraged  at  this  shocking  and  tantalizing  exhibition 
by  the  drunken  Indian,  who  thus  boasted  of  having  murdered  their  father,  and 
mockingly  described  his  death  struggles  when  he  tore  the  scalp  from  his  head. 
This  fiendish  exhibition  caused  their  blood  to  boil  with  rage  and  they  swore  ven- 
geance on  the  savage,  and  would  have  torn  him  from  limb  to  limb  at  once  but  for 
those  present. 

That  evening  they  persuaded  Samuel  Doyle,  a  bold  frontiersman,  to  accompany 
them  a  short  distance  up  the  creek,  when  they  planned  the  murder  of  the  two  In- 
dians. They  boldly  went  to  their  camp  and  announced  their  intentions.  The  young 
Indian  begged  piteously  for  his  life,  declaring  that  he  was  not  concerned  in  the  mur- 
der of  the  elder  Walker,  but  his  appeals  were  unheeded  and  he  was  quickly  toma- 
hawked. The  older  Indian  was  then  attacked  and  a  desperate  struggle  ensued, 
in  which  knives  and  tomahawks  were  used.  He  fought  desperately  for  his  life 
and  wounded  two  of  the  Walkers,  and  probably  would  have  killed  them,  had 
they  not  succeeded  in  shooting  him  through  the  head.  They  then  simk  the  bodies 
in  the  creek  not  far  from  where  the  Phelps,  Dodge  &  Company  saw  mills  were 
afterwards  built. 

The  sudden  disappearance  of  the  Indians  caused  some  surprise  in  the  neigh- 
borhood, and  the  Walkers  were  suspected  of  having  killed  them;  but  as  almost 
everyone  felt  that  they  deserved  death  for  their  conduct  their  disappearance  was 
soon  forgotten.  In  a  short  time  there  was  a  rise  of  water  in  the  creek  and  the 
dead  bodies  were  washed  on  a  gravel  bar  not  far  from  where  they  had  been  thrown. 
The  murder  now  became  the  subject  of  much  talk;  some  asserted  that  the  Walkers 
were  justified  in  doing  what  they  did,  whilst  others  thought  that  as  the  deed  had 
been  committed  in  time  of  peace  it  was  a  grave  violation  of  law  and  might  cause 
trouble  with  the  Indians. 

In  course  of  time  information  of  the  aifair  reached  the  ears  of  the  authorities 
and  caused  a  feeling  of  uneasiness.  When  the  friends  of  the  Indians  learned  how 
they  had  been  treated  by  the  whites,  they  became  greatly  excited  and  threatened  to 
descend  Pine  creek  in  force  and  avenge  their  deaths.  This  threat  alarmed  the  au- 
thorities and  they  promptly  condemned  the  act  of  the  Walkers  and  took  steps  to  ar- 
rest them. 

The  people   well  knew  the  revengeful  spirit  of   the    Indians,    and   as   reports 


reached  them  that  they  were  greatly  agitated  and  threatened  to  raid  the  settlement 
along  the  creek,  thej  became  much  alarmed  for  their  safety,  and  failing  in  their 
efforts  to  arrest  the  offenders,  they  straightway  petitioned  the  Governor  and  Supreme 
Executive  Council.  The  petition,  which  never  was  printed  before,  is  given  here- 
with.    It  shows  the  names  of  the  residents  on  both  sides  of  the  creek  at  that  time: 

To  His  ExcelUncy  T/wmas  Mifflin,  Esquire,  JPresiderdjand  the  Supreme  Execui. ice  Council  of  the 

Stxite  of  Penngyltania: 

The  humble  petition  of  tlie  subscribers,  inhabitants  of  the  westward  part  of  the  county  of 
^Northumberland  respectfully  sheweth:  That  your  petitioners  failing  in  their  attempts  to  appre- 
hend and  secure  the  bodies  of  Benjamin,  Henry,  and  Joseph  Walker,  and  Samuel  Doyle,  the 
persons  who  lately  killed  the  two  Indians  at  Pine  creek:  and  they  having  fled  from  the  county, 
puts  it  out  of  our  power  to  do  anything  further  therein.  And  the  settlement  at  and  near  Pine 
creek  is  likely  to  be  evacuated  on  account  of  the  dangers  they  suppose  themselves  liable  to  by 
the  Indians  hunting  on  the  head  waters  of  the  creek;  the  settlers  for  seventeen  miles  are  now 
moving,  and  they  doubtless  will  be  followed  by  others,  which  will  ruin  this  new  settlement, 
which  is  only  beginning  to  recover  [from]  the  damages  they  sustained  by  the  late  war,  tmless 
speedily  stopped. 

TVe  therefore  humbly  pray  your  Excellency  and  Council  to  take  some  speedy  and  efiectual 
method  for  securing  the  settlers  on  the  frontiers  by  treaty  or  otherwise;  and  at  the  same  time 
to  adopt  some  speedy  method  for  our  aid  and  support,  in  case  the  Indians  should  make  a 
descent  upon  our  settlement,  and  your  petitioners  will  ever  pray,  etc. 

Pine  Creek,  .July  4,  1790. 

The  petition  was  signed  by  Eobert  Crawford,  James  Chatham,  William  Dunn,  Sr., 
Alexander  Porter,  Samuel  Qainn,  Thomas  Nichols,  Ephraim  Morrison,  James  Erwin, 
James  Fields,  Barnabas  Parsons,  Eobert  Fleming,  William  Hepburn,  Thomas 
Forster.  William  Bell,  James  Long,  David  Lusk,  William  Dunn.  John  Jackson, 
Eobert  King,  Eichard  Salmon,  Thomas  Greenwood,  Isaac  Luse,  John  McMichael, 
Samuel  Marrison,  Jr. ,  William  Winter,  George  Fredericks,  Alexander  Johnson, 
James  McClure,  John  Wilson,  Ez.  Smith,  David  Hanna,  John  ilaffet,  Arthur  Bell, 
Matthew  Adams,  James  Jackson,  John  McCormic,  Brattan  Caldwell,  John  King, 
John  Anderson,  James  Lee  Crawford,  Joseph  Cogley,  Hugh  White,  James  Wilson, 
Thomas  Golangher,  George  Xilson,  Jacob  Tomb,  William  Custard,  Samuel  Torbert, 
Edmund  Huff,  Eobert  Lee,  William  Glass,  James  Thompson,  James  Dunn,  Eobert 
Moore,  P.  J.  Moore,  Frederick  Hill,  John  Parrey,  James  Crawford.  Benjamin 
DemHl,  George  Calhour,  Anhalle  Stewart,  and  James  Stewart. 

When  the  Governor  received  this  petition  he  was  much  exercised,  as  he  did  not 
want  trouble  with  the  Indians  on  the  frontier.  At  a  meeting  of  the  Executive 
Council,  July  9,  1790,  official  information  of  the  murder  of  the  two  friendly  Seneca 
Indians  on  the  27th  of  June  was  laid  before  that  body,  and  a  proclamation  was  at 
once  issued  offering  a  reward  of  §800  for  the  arrest  and  conviction  of  the  Walkers 
and  Doyle,  or  S20U  for  any  one  of  them. 

On  the  17th  of  August  John  Eobinson  wrote  to  Col.  Thomas  Proctor,  from  Pine 
creek,  as  given  below: 

Snt:  I  desire  to  inform  you  that  Messrs.  Benjamin  Walker.  Henry  Walker,  .James  Walker, 
and  Samuel  Doyle  have  upon  mature  deliberation  been  convinced  of  their  error  and  are  willing 
to  give  themselves  up  to  stand  their  trial  according  to  law.  They  most  earnestly  solicit  your 
friendship,  and  pray  you  would  use  your  interest  and  endeavors  in  their  behalf  with  the 
CouncU,  in  order  to  mitigate  their  fault,  which  they  are,  from  all  appearance,  very  sorry  for, 
and  have  petitioned  the  Council  for  their  pardon,  and  knowing  there  has  been  some  correspond- 

THE    FAIE    PLAY    SYSTEM.  209 

ence  betTveen  you  and  my  father,  have  desired  me  to  write  to  you  and  state  their  inducement 
for  killing  the  Indians,  and  my  desire  being  great  for  the  preservation  of  their  lives,  which  / 
now  earnestly  cra-ce,  I  will  now  give  you  their  reasons  for  killing  the  two  Indians,  which  are  as 
follows:  One  of  the  two  Indians  they  killed  vaunted  of  his  taking  twenty-three  scalps.  One  of 
the  scalped  persons  being  alive,  is  willing  to  give  in  on  oath  that  he  scalped  a  woman  at  the 
same  time  their  father,  John  Walker,  was  killed  and  scalped,  which  was  their  inducement  for 
killing  them. 

The  writer  of  this  letter  was  a  son  of  Capt.  Thomas  Robinson,  who  rebuilt  Fort 
Muncy,  and  took  such  an  active  part  in  defending  the  frontier.  And  while  it  is 
believed  a  large  number  of  the  settlers  quietly  sympathized  with  the  Walkers  for 
what  they  did,  they  were  forced  to  publicly  denounce  the  killing  in  order  to  keep  on 
good  terms  with  the  Indians.  An  Indian  who  publicly  boasted  of  having  taken 
"  twenty-three  scalps  "  deserved  killing,  even  if  peace  did  exist.  The  woman  he 
scalped,  and  who  recovered,  was  the  daughter  of  Claudius  Boatman,  and  they  both 
lived  and  died  on  Pine  creek.  It  is  not  likely  that  she  entertained  much  sympathy 
for  the  Indian  on  her  own  account — much  less  on  the  account  of  her  mother,  who  was 
killed  at  the  same  time. 

The  authorities,  to  show  their  good  faith  in  this  matter,  promptly  dispatched  ' '  an 
express ' '  to  inform  the  Indians  that  they  did  not  approve  of  the  act.  He  found 
them  greatly  irritated,  but  owing  to  the  influence  of  Cornplanter  a  war  party  was 
prevented  from  starting  to  take  vengeance  on  the  frontier  settlers. 

On  the  23d  of  September,  1790,  William  Wilson  informed  Governor  Mifflin  by 
letter  from  Northumberland  that  he  had  engaged  Thomas  Rue,  Jr. ,  to  go  in  pursuit 
of  the  Walkers  and  Doyle,  and  to  take  such  persons  with  him  as  he  could  coniide  in. 
He  started  for  Pine  creek,  but  a  few  days  before  his  arrival  sixteen  persons  residing 
on  the  creek,  banded  together  to  take  the  Walkers,  but  being  informed  of  what  was 
going  on  they  disappeared.  Rue  went  upon  the  ground  secretly  and  soon  found 
Doyle,  whom  he  arrested  and  sent  him  to  jail  at  Lancaster.  Mr.  Wilson  said 
further  that  he  expected  to  secure  the  Walkers,  as  he  had  several  persons  in  pursuit 
of  them. 

In  another  letter  from  the  same  place,  dated  September  29th,  he  informed  the 
Governor  that  he  had  drawn  on  him  "  for  iifty  specie  in  favor  of  Hepburn  and 
Cowden,"  for  assisting  in  the  arrest  of  Doyle  and  taking  him  to  Lancaster.  The 
Walkers,  he  said,  were  still  at  large,  and  as  the  people  sympathized  w;th  them,  he 
had  little  hope  of  securing  them.  Some  persons  thought  it  would  be  better  to  have 
them  "  outlawed,"  as  well  as  those  who  were  secreting  them. 

Strenuous  efforts,  however,  continued  to  be  made  by  the  authorities  to  arrest  the 
Walkers  to  appease  the  wrath  of  the  Indians,  and  on  the  16th  of  November  a 
conference  was  held  at  Tioga  Point,  which  Colonel  Pickering  attended  as  a  commis- 
sioner in  behalf  of  the  State.  Red  Jacket  and  Cornplanter  were  present,  and  after 
a  formal  consultation,  and  the  assurance  on  the  part  of  Colonel  Pickering  that 
everything  possible  was  being  done  to  bring  the  offenders  to  justice,  they  expressed 
themselves  as  satisfied. 

A  deputation  had  also  been  sent  to  Canandaigua  by  Council  bearing  a  copy  of 
the  proclamation,  and  to  apologize  to  the  Indians  for  what  had  occurred,  and  assure 
them  that  the  authorities  disapproved  of  the  crime.  The  deputation  returned 
bearing  a  string  of  wampum  from  the  chief  counsellors  and  warriors  of  the  Seneca 
tribe,  which  was  a  token  of  peace  and  amity. 


The  Walkers,  it  seems,  were  secreted  by  their  friends,  and  the  officers  failed  to 
find  them.  As  might  have  been  expected  in  a  community  that  had  been  so  frequently 
assailed  by  the  savages,  who  had  mercilessly  butchered  their  wives  and  children, 
burned  their  dwellings,  and  desolated  their  fields,  there  would  be  little  disposition 
to  deliver  up  those  who  had  taken  it  upon  themselves  to  be  the  avengers  for  such 
terrible  outrages.  The  result  was  that  the  Commonwealth  failed  to  secure  the 

Doyle  was  arrested,  September  25,  1790,  by  Thomas  Eeese  and  Jacob  Maclay, 
and  delivered  to  the  jailer  of  Lancaster  county  November  12th.  He  was  indicted 
by  the  grand  jury  of  Northumberland  county,  at  Sanbury,  for  murder,  tried,  and 
acquitted,  the  jury  declaring  "  upon  their  oath  and  affii'mation  that  the  said  Samuel 
Doyle  is  not  guilty  of  the  felony  and  murder  whereof  he  stands  indicted."  Thomas 
McKean,  chief  justice  of  the  State,  presided  at  the  trial;  William  Bradford,  attorney 
general,  conducted  the  prosecution,  but  it  does  not  appear  who  defended  him. 

Doyle  located  at  Bath,  New  York,  soon  after  it  was  founded,  and  lived  there 
until  he  died.  It  seems  strange  that  he  should  take  up  his  residence  near  the 
Seneca  country,  where  the  friends  of  the  Indian  he  assisted  in  killing  lived.  The 
Walkers,  who  escaped,  were  lost  sight  of  for  some  time.  In  1798  one  of  them 
located  in  what  is  now  Steuben  county.  New  York,  where  he  lived  for  several 
years.  He  occupied  a  log  cabin  and  spent  most  of  his  time  hunting,  remaining  in 
the  woods  several  days  at  a  time.    What  became  of  him  and  his  brothers  is  unknown. 




OF  Bitterness — A  Strong  Appeal  Denied — The  Genesee  Speculations — The  Will- 
iamson *loAD — A  New  County  at  Last — Choosing  a  Name — Boundaries,  Judici- 
ary, and  Seat  op  Justice — Original  Extent  op  the  County — First  Officers 
AND  First  Court — Selection  op  the  County  Seat. 

PEACE  having  been  restored,  there  was  a  rush  of  immigrants  to  occupy  the  fer- 
tile lands  of  the  West  Branch,  and  it  was  not  long  till  the  population  was 
almost  greater  than  in  any  other  part  of  the  county  of  Northumberland.  And  as  many 
of  the  settlers  had  to  travel  forty  and  fifty  miles,  besides  crossing  the  river  and  numer- 
ous large  streams,  to  reach  the  county  seat,  the  journey,  in  winter  time  especially, 
was  not  only  tedious,  but  attended  with  great  danger.  No  bridges  spanned  the 
river  or  any  of  its  tributaries  at  that  time.  Courts  had  to  be  attended,  and  there 
was  much  other  business  at  the  county  seat  which  demanded  attention;  deeds  had 
to  be  filed  for  record  and  the  settlement  of  estates  looked  after.  All  these  things 
tended  to  increase  the  feeling  among  the   people    for  greater    convenience    in    the 



transaction  of  business,  and  gradually  culminated  in  a  movement  for  the  erection 
of  a  new  county. 

Residents  in  and  around  Sunbury  looked  upon  a  movement  of  this  kind  with 
alarm,  for  they  realized  that  if  it  proved  successful  the  county  of  Northumberland, 
however  vast  her  territory,  would  be  shorn  of  her  most  populous  townships,  and 
they  would  suffer  in  a  pecuniary  degree.  The  great  bulk  of  population  was  in  the 
valley  of  the  West  Branch,  extending  as  far  west  as  the  present  site  of  Lock 
Haven  and  Bald  Eagle  valley.  It  was  indeed  an  attractive  region,  and  it  did  not 
require  much  foresight  to  show  that  it  was  destined  to  still  become  more  rich  and 

What  could  be  done  to  stay  this  growing  sentiment  in  favor  of  dismemberment? 
Muncy,  Lycoming,  Pine,  Bald  Eagle,  and  Washington  were  the  only  townships  on 
the  upper  waters  of  the  West  Branch  at  this  time.  Still  the  work  of  reduction  in 
the  size  of  townships  was  demanded  by  the  increase  of  population.  At  February 
sessions,  17S6,  Loyalsock  township  was  formed  from  that  portion  of  Muncy  to-vvn- 
ship  lying  between  Loyalsock  and  Lycoming  creeks.  This  was  the  beginning  of 
the  work  of  disintegration  of  the  great  and  original  township  of  Muncy,  and  it  was 
continued  at  intervals  down  till  within  recent  years.  Loyalsock,  though  not  so  large 
as  many  others,  finally  contributed  the  ground  on  which  the  city  of  Williamsport 
was  founded. 

With  the  erection  of  the  foregoing  township  it  might  be  supposed  that  the  work 
would  be  suspended  for  a  time.  But  not  so.  A  feeling  of  unrest  pervaded  the 
settlements,  and  a  carving  up  of  more  territory  was  demanded  for  the  better  accom- 
modation of  the  people  in  the  administration  of  local  laws.  Accordingly  at  May 
sessions,  1786,  three  more  townships  were  formed  on  the  south  side  of  the  river  and 
named,  respectively,  Nippenose,  Bald  Eagle,  and  Upper  Bald  Eagle.  These  town- 
ships, like  the  others  erected  about  the  same  time,  have  all  been  subjected  to  a 
great  curtailment  of  their  territory,  and  one  of  the  Bald  Eagles  has  been  absorbed 
or  wiped  out. 


Still  the  feeling  of  uneasiness  was  not  allayed.  A  movement  for  the  erection 
of  a  new  county,  to  embrace  that  portion  of  Northumberland  county  lying  west  of 
Muncy  Hills,  was  commenced  in  1786,  and  pushed  with  great  vigor  for  fully  nine 
years  before  success  crowned  the  efforts  of  the  projectors.  It  met  with  violent  opposi- 
tion from  the  beginning,  because  the  people  of  Sunbury,  Northumberland,  and  that 
portion  of  the  territory  now  embraced  by  Union  county  feared  that  the  loss  of  such 
a  valuable  section  would  be  a  serious  detriment  to  them.  An  esfamination  of  the 
proceedings  of  the  Assembly  fi'om  1786  to  1795  gives  a  clear  insight  of  the  fierce 
struggle  that  was  waged  during  the  nine  years  that  elapsed.  Owing  to  the  meager- 
ness  of  the  reports,  however,  much  that  would  be  exceedingly  interesting  now  was 
not  preserved. 

The  first  record  we  have  of  the  beginning  of  the  fight  is  an  entry  in  the  journal 
under  date  of  September  25,  1786,  which  reads  as  follows:  "An  act  for  erecting 
the  northern  part  of  the  county  of  Northumberland  into  a  separate  county  was 
engrossed  and  brought  in  for  the  Speaker  to  sign. ' '     A  careful  examination  of  the 


minutes  preceding  this  entry  failed  to  disclose  when  and  by  whom  the  bill  was  intro- 
duced, and  whether  its  consideration  had  elicited  any  discussion  before  its  passage, 
for  it  must  have  passed,  else  it  could  not  have  been  "engrossed  and  brought  in  for 
the  Speaker  to  sign. ' '  But  that  such  a  bill  had  been  luider  consideration  is  shown 
by  a  brief  entry  in  the  Journal  September  12,  1786,  that  a  "  petition  from  a  number 
of  inhabitants  praying  against  a  division  of  Northumberland  county  was  received 
and  filed." 

The  next  entry  relating  to  the  bill  was  made  under  date  of  November  16,  1786, 
and  reads: 

A  motion  made  by  Mr.  Dale,  seconded  by  Mr.  Antes,  and  adopted,  in  the  following  ■words: 

Whebeas,  By  an  act  passed  the  35th  of  September  last,  entitled,  "  An  act  for  erecting  the 
northern  part  of  the  county  of  Korthumberland  into  a  separate  county,"  it  appears  by  the 
second  section  of  said  act,  that  the  line  to  be  run  from  the  mouth  of  Nescopeck  to  the  line 
which  divides  the  waters  of  the  East  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna  from  those  of  the  "West 
Branch,  is  to  be  run  to  a  point  due  west,  which  said  line  is  an  error  in  the  engrossed  act,  and 
totally  inadmissible,  therefore 

Sesolved,  That  Mr.  Antes,  Mr.  Dale,  and  Mr.  Brackenridge  be  a  committee  to  bring  in  a 
bill  to  remedy  the  defect  in  the  aforesaid  act. 

The  advocates  of  a  new  county,  it  seems,  were  determined  and  active,  and  if 
they  failed  in  securing  the  first  object  of  their  wishes,  they  had  another  proposition 
to  submit,  as  the  following  entry  in  the  journal  on  the  22d  of  December,  1786,  will 

A  petition  from  a  number  of  inhabitants  of  the  county  of  Northumberland  was  read,  stat- 
ing the  many  grievances  they  labor  under,  by  reason  of  the  courts  of  justice  in  and  for  said 
county  being  held  at  Sunbury,  and  praying  the  petitions  presented  to  the  former  House  of 
Representatives  for  a  removal  of  the  seat  of  justice  from  the  said  town  may  be  taken  into  con- 
sideration by  this  House.    Ordered  to  lie  on  the  table. 

The  proposition  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  upper  part  of  the  valley,  which  now 
embraces  Lycoming  and  Clinton  counties,  to  remove  the  seat  of  justice  from  Sun- 
bury,  in  the  event  of  a  new  county  being  refused,  is  what  stirred  up  and  intensified  the 
opposition.  The  House,  however,  appears  to  have  regarded  the  prayer  of  the  petition- 
ers with  favor,  for  an  entry  in  the  Journal  on  the  same  day  informs  us  that  "  the 
bill  or  supplement  to  the  first  act  was  read  three  time  by  paragraphs,  and  debated, 
and  ordered  to  be  engrossed."  And  on  the  27th,  we  learn  from  the  same  authority, 
"  the  supplemental  act  erecting  a  new  county"  was  "  brought  in  and  the  Speaker 
directed  to  sign  it." 

As  to  its  final  disposition  the  records  are  silent,  although  we  would  infer  from 
the  language  used,  that  the  question  was  settled  and  the  bill  was  about  to  become  a 
law.  That  it  failed  at  the  last  moment  there  is  no  doubt,  but  through  what 
influences  we  are  left  in  ignorance.  Evidently  the  Speaker,  although  "  directed," 
did  not  "sign  it;"  or  if  he  did,  the  President  of  the  Supreme  Executive  Council, 
who  was  virtually  the  Governor,  and  exercised  dictatorial  powers  greater  than  those 
exercised  by  a  Governor  under  the  present  Constitution,  throttled  it.  Most  likely 
the  latter,  as  sufficiently  powerful  influences,  through  a  combination  of  interests, 
landed  or  otherwise,  were  brought  to  bear  from  Sunbury  to  override  this  act  of  the 
Assembly.  Those  were  the  days  when  more  corruption  existed  than  at  the  present 
time,  though    we  are  in  the  habit  these  modern  days  of  proudly  pointing   to  the 




fathers  of  the  State  and  the  Republic  as  shining  exemplars  of  purity  in  politics  and 

Although  defeated  at  the  moment  when  victory  seemed  sure,  the  friends  of  the 
movement  for  a  new  county  or  a  new  county  seat  were  not  dismayed,  and  did  not 
give  up  the  fight,  for  we  learn  by  an  entry  in  the  Journal  of  February  27,  1787,  that 
a  "  petition  of  385  inhabitants  of  Northumberland  county  was  filed,  praying  that  the 
seat  of  justice  may  be  removed  from  Sunbury  to  Northumberland." 


This  was  a  bitter  pill  for  the  Sunburyites,  for  they  entertained  an  intense 
hatred  of  their  rival  across  the  river,  and  even  at  this  day  the  mellowing  influences 
of  more  than  a  century  have  failed  to  eradicate  all  feeling  of  antagonism.  On  the 
1st  of  March  following,  the  same  authority  informs  us,  "  the  petition  was 
referred  to  Mr.  Heister,  Mr.  Antes,  and  Mr.  Dale  to  report. ' '  Samuel  Dale  and 
Frederick  Antes  were  the  Representatives  of  Northumberland  county. 

On  the  9th  of  March,  1787,  a  petition  signed  by  576  "  inhabitants  of  North- 
umberland county,  praying  for  the  seat  of  justice  to  be  removed  from  Sunbury," 
was  received  and  filed.  The  subsequent  day  a  report  on  the  petition  signed  by  385 
persons  was  read  and  laid  on  the  table,  but  the  minutes  do  not  state  its  purport. 
On  the  17th  of  March  the  report  was  called  for,  and  the  committee  instructed 
to  "bring  in  a  bill  removing  the  seat  of  justice  from  Sunbury."  There  is  nothing 
in  the  minutes  to  show  what  action  the  committee  took,  but  it  is  obvious  that  noth- 
ing was  done  in  answer  to  the  prayer  of  the  885.  It  was,  very  likely,  quietly 
allowed  to  slumber  in  a  pigeon  hole  till  adjournment.  We  hear  nothing  more 
of  the  movement  until  November  16,  1787,  when  the  minutes  inform  us  that 
"petitions  were  filed  for  dividing  Northumberland  county."  The  number  of 
signers  is  not  given,  probably  because  the  "prayer"    had  become  on  old  one. 

The  fight  was  renewed  at  the  next  session,  for  under  date  of  March  6, 1788,  there 
is  an  entry  of  a  petition  having  been  received,  praying  for  a  division  of  the  county. 
And,  as  if  to  vary  the  monotony,  sis  days  later  a  petition  "  against  a  division"  was 
received,  but  its  strength  is  not  mentioned. 

On  the  subsequent  day,  the  13th,  a  petition  containing  the  names  of  682  persons 
"residing  west  of  Muncy  Hills,"  was  presented.  The  petitioners  prayed  for  the 
erection  of  a  new  county,  "  and  that  Loyalsock  be  the  division  line  on  the  north  side 
of  the  West  Branch,  and  the  White  Deer  mountains  on  the  south  side  of  said  river." 
The  petition  was  referred  to  the  "  committee  appointed  March  3d,"  which  had  the 
prayer  of  the  385  under  consideration. 


Nothing  more  is  heard  of  the  matter  till  the  20th  of  November,  1789,  more  than 
a  year  and  a  half,  when  the  inhabitants,  evidently  tired  of  waiting,  appealed  to  the 
Assembly  in  force,  for  the  minutes  tell  us  that  on  that  day  a  ' '  petition  from  996 
inhabitants  of  Northumberland  county,  residing  on  the  west  side  of  the  Susquehanna, 
was  read,  praying  for  a  division  of  said  county,"  and  laid- on  the  table.  This  pon- 
derous array  of  names  for  that  time  must  have  embraced  every  settler  west  of  Muncy 
Hills  to  Bald  Eagle  valley,  and  it  would  be  interesting  to  have  a  copy  of  the  docu- 


ment  at  this  day,  to  see  the  names  of  the  signers.      But  as  a  century  has  passed  it 
has  very  likely  long  since  perished. 

The  journal  shows  that  it  was  not  ignored,  for  it  was  soon  read  the  second  time 
and  referred  to  a  committee  to  report.  We  are  not  informed  who  composed  the 
committee,  but  they  evidently  felt  that  a  petition  containing  the  names  of  nearly 
1,000  citizens  could  not  be  lightly  treated,  and  on  the  20th  of  December,  1789,  they 
submitted  the  following  elaborate  report: 

That  to  your  committee  it  appears  the  legislature  should  rather  decide  upon  fixed  and 
determinate  principles,  than  upon  a  bare  expression  of  the  wishes  of  even  many  citizens  ;  for 
although,  in  matters  of  local  concern,  those  immediately  interested  can  best  feel,  and,  feeling, 
can  point  out  the  particular  inconveniences  of  their  own  situation,  yet  they  may  not  always 
impartially  consider  or  be  deeply  affected  with  the  increased  disadvantages  to  others  resulting 
from  their  gratification.  With  the  legislature  it  then  rests  to  determine  how  far  the  particular 
cases  may  accord  with  the  general  interests  and  harmony  of  the  whole. 

To  your  committee  it  appears  that,  in  determining  questions  of  this  nature,  regard  should 
be  had  to  the  number  and  ability  of  the  inhabitants,  as  well  as  to  the  extent  of  country  and  the 
particular  situation  with  respect  to  rivers,  chains  of  mountains,  and  other  natural  circumstances; 
that  attention  should  also  be  paid  to  future  probable  divisions. 

In  applying  these  principles  to  the  present  instance,  your  committee  are  of  opinion  that 
the  population  of  Northumberland  will  not  justify  a  division  of  that  county,  or  enable  the 
inhabitants  to  support  double  county  charges;  nor  can  its  extent  form  a  reasonable  ground  for 
division,  when  in  connection  with  sufficiently  numerous  settlements. 

The  situation  of  the  country  requested  to  be  erected  into  a  separate  county  is  more  conven- 
ient to  the  present  seat  of  justice  than  many  parts  of  other  large  counties,  and  the  river 
Susquehanna  forms  the  single  obstruction  in  the  way. 

If  regard  is  had  to  the  counties  which  may  in  future  be  erected,  or  to  the  inconveniences 
which  would  immediately  attend  the  remaining  part  of  Northumberland,  this  division  will 
prove  itself  the  more  inexpedient,  since  the  remaining  part  will  constitute  the  most  irregular 
figure,  encompassing  the  new  county  on  three  of  its  sides,  whilst  the  officers  of  justice  must  as 
a  consequence  be  compelled  in  some  instances  to  take  circuits  round  it  to  avoid  the  release  of 
their  prisoners  by  carrying  them  through  this  county  in  a  direct  course. 

From  the  best  information  your  committee  can  obtain,  when  the  population  of  Northumber- 
land shall  authorize  a  division,  it  must  be  widely  difierent  from  the  one  now  desired. 

The  committee  will  farther  hazard  an  opinion,  that  many  divisions  and  attentions  of  the 
lines  of  counties  will  be  necessary,  when,  from  a  map  of  the  State  accurately  defining  the 
waters,  ridges  of  hills  and  mountains,  and  the  present  lines  of  counties,  the  members  of  the 
legislature  can,  from  due  information,  decide  on  their  propriety;  until  then,  divisions  must 
often  be  made  injudiciously,  and  until  then  (unless  pressing  reasons  operate  to  the  contrary) 
the  erecting  of  new  counties  should  be  deferred. 

Influenced  by  these  general  and  special  reasons,  the  committee  submit  the  following 

Resolved,  That  the  prayer  of  the  petition  from  Northumberland  county  for  a  division  of  the 
same  can  not  be  complied  with. 

Ordered  to  lie  on  the  table. 

This  strong  report  against  the  appeal  of  the  inhabitants  of  this  portion  of  the 
valley  for  separation  from  the  mother  county  had  a  depressing  effect  at  the  time; 
and  to  strengthen  the  opjjosition,  the  report  was  supf)lemented,  August  24,  1789,  by 
a  "  petition  from  divers  owners  of  land  in  the  county  of  Luzerne  [erected  Septem- 
ber 25,  1786]  remonstrating  against  an  act  for  erecting  the  northern  part  of  the 
county  of  Northumberland  into  a  separate  county." 

Why  the  owners  of  land  in  Luzerne  should  object  to  the  division  of  an  adjoining 
county  does  not  appear,  but  it  was  doubtless  a  part  of  the  scheme  of  certain  indi- 
viduals to  bring  all  the  opposition  they  could  to  bear  against  the  movement. 


The  same  day  this  petition  was  presented  to  the  Assemby,  one  "  from  John  Van 
Campen,  agent  for  the  citizens  of  this  State  residing  in  the  county  of  Northampton, 
owners  of  land  in  the  county  of  Luzerne,  was  read  remonstrating  against  the  act  to 
set  apart  the  northern  part  of  Northumberland  county  into  a  separate  county." 

From  the  tenor  of  this  "remonstrance,'"  it  can  easily  be  inferred  that  a  combina- 
tion of  land  interests  was  at  the  bottom  of  the  opposition  to  the  movement,  but  for 
what  reasons  we  have  no  means  of  determining  at  this  day.  It  is  well  known,  how- 
ever, that  land  speculation  was  rife  at  that  time,  and  Quaker  residents  of  Philadel- 
phia and  along  the  Delaware  controlled  large  bodies  of  land  on  the  upper  waters 
of  the  Susquehanna  and  in  Luzerne  county.  Prominent  among  them  was  Robert 
Morris,  "the  financier  of  the  Revolution,'"  and  others  of  high  standing.  Morris  was 
the  owner  of  thousands  of  acres  in  what  is  now  Lycoming  county,  although  they 
soon  passed  into  other  hands.  It  is  possible  that  these  great  land  speculators  had 
personal  or  financial  reasons  for  opposing  the  further  dismemberment  of  Northum- 
berland county,  and  through  their  great  influence  were  able  to  control  the  committee 
and  the  Assembly. 

The  set-back  the  petitioners  received  by  this  report  of  the  committee  had  a 
dampening  effect  on  them,  and  they  saw  very  clearly  that  such  powerful  influences 
were  arrayed  against  them  that  it  would  be  useless  to  renew  the  fight  immediately. 
The  matter  therefore  was  allowed  to  rest  for  a  few  years,  but  the  spirit  of  the 
inhabitants  was  not  broken.  They  were  determined  to  await  a  more  favorable 
opportunity,  when  the  fight  for  division  would  be  renewed  and  prosecuted  with 
greater  vigor. 


About  this  time  attention  was  drawn  to  the  great  land  operations  in  the  vicinity 
of  Painted  Post  and  the  G-enesee  country.  The  richness  of  these  lands,  which 
belonged  to  the  Seneca  Indians,  had  been  noted  by  close  observers  during  the  Sul- 
livan invasion,  and  since  by  commissioners  to  attend  Indian  treaties.  A  few 
residents  in  the  West  Branch  valley,  impelled  by  a  spirit  of  adventure,  made  their 
way  through  the  wilderness  and  settled  in  the  vicinity  of  Painted  Post  about  1788-89. 
Among  them  was  Samuel  Harris  who  was  an  early  settler  at  the  mouth  of  Loyal- 

In  November,  1788,  the  State  of  Massachusetts,  in  consideration  of  £300,000, 
conveyed  to  Oliver  Phelps  and  Nathanial  Gorham  all  its  right  and  title  to  the 
Genesee  lands.  The  purchasers  immediately  caused  them  to  be  surveyed  and 
placed  on  the  market.  John  L.  Sexton,  the  historian  of  Tioga  county,  states  that 
that  portion  of  the  Phelps  and  Gorham  purchase  was  surveyed  by  Frederick  Sexton, 
Augustus  Porter,  Thomas  Davis,  and  Robert  James,  in  the  year  1789.  While  they 
were  engaged  in  the  survey  they  made  their  headquarters  at  the  house  or  cabin  of 
Samuel  Harris.  There  were  only  two  or  three  white  settlers  there  at  that  time, 
Harris  and  his  son  William  being  of  the  number.  The  survey  was  completed, 
November  18,  1790,  when  by  deed  Phelps  and  Gorham  conveyed  1,250,000 
acres  to  Robert  Morris,  of  Philadelphia,  and  on  the  11th  of  April,  1792,  he 
(Morris)  conveyed  to  Charles  Williamson  about  1,200,000  acres  of  this  land, 
which   has   since   been    known   as   the   Pultnev    estate.      It   was    about   the    time 


these  immense  land  negotiations  were  pending  that  the  movement  to  erect  a 
new  county  out  of  the  northern  part  of  Northumberland  was  defeated.  The  ter- 
ritory of  the  latter  county  at  that  time  extended  to  the  line  of  the  State  of  New- 
York  and  bounded  the  great  Morris  estate.  ^Vhether  these  immense  land  specula- 
.  tions  had  anything  to  do  with  defeating  the  new  county  is  unknown,  but  in  view  of 
what  followed,  the  reader  can  draw  his  own  conclusions. 


In  the  meatime  Williamson  had  taken  up  his  residence  at  Northumberland.  He- 
was  really  the  secret,  agent  of  Sir  William  Pultney,  of  Bath,  England,  and  had 
determined  to  occupy  the  land.  A  company  of  about  500  emigrants  had  been 
formed  in  England  to  settle  on  the  land  as  colonists.  On  being  advised  of  their 
coming  Williamson  set  about  devising  a  plan  to  open  a  road  through  the  wilderness 
over  which  to  take  the  colonists.  He  applied  to  the  legislature  for  assistance  and  a 
bill  was  passed  appropriating  £100.  It  was  a  small  sum  and  grudgingly  given. 
His  road  commenced  at  Loyalsock,  ran  through  where  Williamsport  was  afterwards 
built,  up  Lycoming  creek  to  Trout  run,  thence  over  Laurel  Hill  to  the  Block  House, 
and  on*  to  the  point  of  destination.  The  draft  is  now  preserved  in  the  Land  Office- 
at  Harrisbiu-g. 

His  plans  being  perfected,  Williamson  secured  the  services  of  two  brothers, 
Robert  and  Benjamin  Patterson,  as  scouts.  They  had  done  distinguished  service  as- 
soldiers  in  the  Revolutionary  army,  and  especially  in  repulsing  the  invading  Indians 
on  the  West  Branch,  and  within  the  present  limits  of  what  are  now  Lycoming, 
Clinton,  and  Tioga  counties.  The  Patterson  brothers  then  resided  at  Northumber- 
land. Their  father,  William  Patterson,  had  distiqguished  himself  in  the  French 
and  Indian  wars,  and  commanded  the  whites  in  the  battle  of  Muncy  Hills.  At  this 
time  (1792)  their  father  was  dead,  and  their  mother  had  married  Marcus  Hulings, 
who  subsequently  died  and  was  buried  at  Painted  Post.  Mrs.  Hulings  was  a  Boone, 
a  near  relative  of  Daniel  Boone,  the  celebrated  frontiersman. 

Operations  were  commenced  on  the  road  in  May  or  June,  1792.  The  colonists 
accompanied  Williamson  and  assisted  in  the  work.  The  journey  and  work  were 
arduous.  It  was  the  custom  of  Williamson  to  establish  depots  for  supplies  on  the- 
route,  by  erecting  log  houses  to  protect  the  women  and  children,  and  to  advance  the 
road  makers,  axemen,  etc. ,  to  prepare  the  way.  He  accordingly  established  one  of 
his  commissary  stations  at  Williamsport,  one  at  Trout  Run,  and  one  at  Liberty,  now 
known  as  the  Block  House,  and  others  on  the  way  as  they  progressed.  The  road 
was  not  fully  completed  until  the  summer  of  1796. 

Williamson  founded  the  city  of  Bath  and  became  a  prominent  man.  He  was  a 
Scotchman  by  birth  and  an  officer  in  the  British  army.  He  took  the  oath  of  alle- 
giance in  1792.  After  transferring  the  vast  estate  to  the  Pultneys  he  set  sail  for 
the  West  Indies  and  was  lost  at  sea. 

Robert  and  Benjamin  Patterson  located  near  Painted  Post  in  1797,  and  both  died 
in  that  township.  The  road  they  assisted  in  building  became  a  great  thoroughfare. 
The  Block  House  was  built  of  round  logs,  and  was  about  20x40  feet  in  size.  In 
front  of  it  was  erected  a  huge  bake  oven,  where  bread  was  baked  for  the  colonists 
and  road  builders. 


Samuel  Harris,  on  account  of  his  prominence  among  the  early  settlers  near  the 
mouth  of  Loyalsock,  deserves  more  than  a  passing  notice.  He  was  a  son  of  the  first 
John  Harris,  born  May  4,  1733,  at  Harris's  Ferry.  Shortly  before  the  beginning  of 
the  Revolution  he  settled  at  Loyalsock  and  took  an  active  part  in  the  affairs  of  the 
new  county  of  Northumberland.  When  he  emigrated  to  Painted  Post  is  not  positively- 
Iniown,  but  it  must  have  been  about  1788 — possibly  later — as  the  surveyors  when 
engaged  in  surveying  the  Phelps  and  Gorham  tract  in  1789  made  their  headquarters 
at  his  house.  He  afterwards  removed  to  Cayuga  Lake,  where  he  died.  In  the 
cemetery  at  Seneca  Falls,  on  the  shore  of  the  lake,  is  a  monument  erected  to  his 

A   NEW    COUNTY    AT    LAST. 

The  movement  for  the  erection  of  the  new  county  was  resumed  in  1794,  for  we 
find  this  entry  in  the  Journal  of  the  House  of  Eepresentatives  under  date  of  February 
15th  of  that  year:  "Petition  from  a  number  of  inhabitants  of  the  county  of  North- 
umberland was  read,  praying  that  in  case  a  new  county  should  be  erected  out  of  the 
same,  the  seat  of  justice  within  the  same  may  be  fixed  on  the  west  side  of  Lycoming 
creek,  at  the  mouth  thereof.      Ordered  to  lie  on  the  table." 

From  the  tenor  of  the  petition  it  would  seem  that  the  question  of  a  new  county 
had  already  been  under  consideration  before  it  was  presented,  but  a  diligent  search 
of  the  meager  records  failed  to  show  that  it  had.  Probably  reference  was  had  to 
the  old  question  of  division,  which  the  petitioners  understood  was  to  be  revived. 

We  hear  nothing  more  of  the  matter  until  February  26,  1795,  a  few  days  over 
one  year,  when  the  following  appears  on  the  Senate  Journal :  ' 

Mr.  Hare,  from  the  committee  appointed  to  consider  and  report  on  the  petitions  praying 
for  a  division  of  Northumberland  county,  made  report,  and  the  same  was  read,  as  follows: 

The  committee  appointed  to  consider  the  petitions  praying  for  a  division  of  Northumber- 
land county,  report:  That  as,  from  the  great  extent  of  Northumberland  county,  much 
inconvenience  is  suffered  by  many  of  the  inhabitants  of  that  county  from  their  great  distance 
from  the  present  seat  of  justice,  the  committee  are  of  opinion  that  the  prayer  of  the  peti- 
tions ought  to  be  granted,  and  they  therefore  recommend  the  adoption  of  the  following 

Resolved,  That  a  committee  be  appointed  to  bring  in  a  bill  for  dividing  Northumberland 
county  in  a  manner  that  may  appear  most  convenient  to  the  inhabitants  thereof. 

The  committee  consisted  of  the  following  Senators:  William  Hepburn,  North- 
umberland, chairman;  Robert  Brown,  Northampton;  John  Kean,  Berks;  Robert  Hare, 
Philadelphia,  and  Zebulon  Potts,  Montgomery.  Much  of  the  credit  for  securing  the 
favorable  report  and  final  passage  of  the  bill  belongs  to  Senator  Hepburn.  He  was 
elected  as  a  State  Senator  from  Northumberland  at  a  special  election  held  January 
■8,  1794,  by  sixty-four  majority  over  Rosewell  Wells,  to  fill  a  vacancy  caused  by  the 
resignation  of  Senator  William  Montgomery.  Hepburn  held  the  office  till  April  20, 
1795,  when  he  resigned  and  was  succeeded  by  Samuel  Dale.  The  members  of  the 
House  this  year  (1795)  were  Flavel  Roan,  Hugh  White,  and  Robert  Martin.  John 
Brady,  son  of  Capt.  John  Brady,  killed  near  Muncy  April  11, 1779,  was  sheriff,  and  the 
last  ofiicer  of  Northumberland  who  exercised  authority  over  what  is  now  the  territory  of 
Lycoming  county.  Senator  Hepburn  resided  on  a  farm  now  embraced  within  the  cor- 
porate limits  of  the  city  of  Williamsport,  and  he  naturally  took  a  deep  interest  in  the 
organization  of  the  new  county,  the  reasons  for  which  will  subsequently  appear. 


The  committee  haying  the  matter  in  charge  was  not  tardy.  On  the  7th  of  March. 
1795,  according  to  the  following  record,  the  biJl  was  reported,  as  appears  from  the 
following  entry:  "Mr.  Kean,  from  the  committee  appointed  for  that  purpose, 
reported  a  bill  entitled  '  An  act  for  erecting  part  of  the  county  of  Northumberland 
into  a  separate  county, '  and  the  same  was  read  the  first  time. ' ' 

On  the  12th  of  March,  only  five  days  later,  the  bill  was  read  the  second  time 
and  considered  by  paragraphs,  and  on  motion  of  Mr.  Brown,  seconded  by  Mr.  Hep- 
burn, it  was  agreed  that  the  new  county  should  be  named  Jeiferson.  On  the  l-lth 
of  March  the  consideration  of  the  bill  was  resumed,  and  the  question  of  choosing 
commissioners  to  select  a  site  for  the  public  buildings  coming  up,  the  followincr 
gentlemen  were  proposed:  -John  Andre  Hanna,  CadwaUader  Evans,  Eobert  Brown, 
Samuel  Postlewaite,  and  William  Elliott,  or  a  majority  of  them.  '  Later  it  was 
decided  to  leave  the  selection  of  commissioners  to  the  Governor. 


The  question  of  selecting  a  name  for  the  new  county  coming  up  again,  a  motion 
was  made  to  strike  out  "Jefferson'"  and  insert  '"Lycoming,"  but  it  was  lost.  Mr. 
Kean  then  moved  that  ' '  Susquehanna  "  be  adopted,  but  that  was  lost  also.  Mr. 
Postlewaite  then  named  "Muncy,"bnt  his  motion  was  lost.  After  further  debate 
a  reconsideration  of  the  motion  to  call  the  county  ' '  Lycoming,"  after  the  great 
stream  which  had  for  so  many  years  formed  the  boundary  line  between  Northum- 
berland and  the  disputed  Indian  lands,  was  proposed  and  carried.  The  title  of  the 
bill  was  then'  agreed  to  and  it  was  ordered  to  be  transcribed  for  third  reading. 

March  19th  it  was  taken  upon  third  reading,  when,  on  motion  of  ilr.  Canan, 
seconded  by  Mr.  Whelen,  Sec.  2  was  amended  by  inserting  nest  after  the  word 
"  Commonwealth,"  the  words  "provided  nevertheless,  that  the  said  county  shallnot 
be  entitled  to  a  separate  representation  until  it  shall  be  certified  by  the  commission- 
ers of  the  said  county  to  the  sheriff  thereof,  that  1,150  taxable  inhabitants  at  least 
reside  within  the  bounds  of  the  said  county.'" 

Further  consideration  of  the  bill  was  then  postponed  to  Wednesday,  March  25th, 
when  on  motion  of  ilr.  Hepburn,  it  was  taken  up,  passed,  and  referred  to  the 

It  did  not  come  up  for  consideration  in  the  House  tiU  the  7th  of  April,  when  it 
was  referred  back  to  the  Senate  with  several  amendments,  and  the  addition  of  a  sec- 
tion requiring  the  commissioners  of  the  new  county  to  "take  a  faithful  and  accurate 
account  of  all  the  taxable  inhabitants  and  make  return  of  the  same  nnder  their 
hands  and  seals  on  or  before  February  1,  1796." 

A  committee  of  the  Senate  was  appointed  to  confer  with  a  committee  of  the 
House  regarding  the  final  disposition  of  the  bill.  The  conference  was  held  and  it 
was  agreed  to  that  the  new  county  should  be  attached  to  the  Hid  congressional  dis- 
trict, which  was  composed  of  Xorthumberland  and  Dauphin  counties:  the  senatorial 
district  composed  of  Mifflin,  Northumberland,  and  Luzerne  counties,  and  have  one 
member  of  the  House  and  Northumberland  two.  All  the  points  in  dispute  having 
been  settled  the  conference  committees  reported  that  they  had  agreed,  whereupon 
it  was  signed  by  the  Speakers  of  the  respective  houses,  and  on  the  13th  of  April,  1795, 
they  presented  the  bill  to  Gov.  Thomas  Mifflin,  who  immediately  signed  it. 


Thus  ended  the  great  fight  for  the  organization  of  Lycoming  county,  which 
commenced  in  1786.  It  was  long  and  bitter  and  feuds  grew  out  of  it  which  lasted 
for  many  years. 


The  boundary  line  of  the  new  county  was  thus  described  in  the  act: 
That  all  that  part  of  Northumberland  county  lying  northwestward  of  a  line  drawn  from  the 
JlifHin  county  line  on  the  summit  of  Nittany  mountain;  thence  running  along  the  top  or  high- 
est ridge  of  said  mountain,  to  where  White  Deer  Hole  creek  runs  through  the  same;  and  from 
thence  by  a  direct  line  crossing  the  West  Branch  of  Susquehanna,  at  the  mouth  of  Black  Hole 
creek  to  the  end  of  iluncy  Hills;  thence  along  the  top  of  Muncy  Hills  and  the  Bald  Mountain 
to  the  Luzerne  county  line,  shall  be,  and  the  same  is  hereby  erected  into  a  separate  county,  to 
be  henceforth  called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Lycoming  county. 

Concerning  the  judiciary  the  act  said: 

That  the  judges  of  the  Supreme  court  and  the  president  of  the  Third  district,  of  which  dis- 
trict the  said  county  of  Lycoming  is  hereby  declared  to  be  part,  as  well  as  the  associate  judges 
which  shall  be  commissioned  in  and  for  the  county  of  Lycoming  shall  have  the  powers,  juris- 
dictions, and  authorities  within  the  same  as  are  warranted  to  and  exercised  by  the  said  judges 
in  other  counties  of  this  Commonwealth. 

Concerning  the  selection  of  a  site  for  the  public  buildings  in  the  new  county,  this 
clause  was  inserted  in  the  act: 

The  Governor  is  authorized  and  he  is  hereby  required  to  appoint  five  commissioners, 
which  commissioners,  or  a  majority  of  them,  shall  meet  at  the  town  of  Northumberland  on  the 
first  Monday  in  September  next,  and  proceed  to  view  and  determine  upon  the  most  eligible  and 
proper  situation  for  erecting  the  public  buildings  for  the  said  county,  and  make  their  report 
into  the  otHce  of  the  secretary  of  this  Commonwealth  on  or  before  the  first  day  of  October  next, 
which  report  so  made  shall  be  final,  and  shall  fix  and  determine  the  spot  for  the  seat  of  justice 
in  and  for  the  said  count}';  for  which  service  each  of  the  said  commissioners  shall  have  and 
receive  $3  per  diem  for  every  day  they  shall  be  employed  in  the  said  services,  to  be  paid 
by  warrants  drawn  by  the  county  commissioners  on  the  treasurer  of  Northumberland 


Lycoming  county,  as  originally  constituted,  covered  a  vast  territory.  The  line 
commenced  on  the  summit  of  Nittany  mountain  and  followed  the  top  thereof  to  the 
point  where  White  Deer  Hole  creek  breaks  through  the  same;  then  bore  off  in  a 
northeastward  direction  to  the  mouth  of  Black  Hole  creek,  south  of  the  borough  of 
Montgomery,  where  it  crossed  the  river  and  passed  over  the  Muncy  Hills  to  the 
Luzerne  county  line,  which  it  followed  for  some  distance  and  then  bore  in  a  north- 
westerly direction  to  the  State  line,  leaving  the  territory  claimed  by  Connecticut  to 
the  northeast,  much  of  which  now  belongs  to  Bradford  county.  Returning  to  the 
place  of  beginning,  it  bore  westward,  crossing  the  head  waters  of  the  West  Branch 
at  Canoe  Place  (Cherry  Tree)  in  what  is  now  Indiana  county;  thence  to  the 
Allegheny  river  near  the  mouth  of  Red  Bank  creek,  in  Armstrong  county;  thence 
up  the  Allegheny  to  the  mouth  of  Conewango  creek,  at  Warren;  thence  up  that 
stream  to  the  State  line,  which  it  followed  to  the  point  of  intersection  with  the  line 
from  the  line  from  the  east. 

From  this  magnificent  domain  the  following  counties  have,  in  whole  or  in  part, 
been  formed:  Armstrong,  Bradford,  Centre,  Clearfield,  Clinton,  Indiana,  Jefferson, 

222  HISTORY    OF    LTCOaI^'G    COUXTT. 

McKean,  Potter,  SulliTan,  Tioga,  Venango,  and  Warren.  And  since  their  formation 
several  sub-divisions  have  been  made,  such  as  Forest,  Elk,  and  Cameron.  To  give 
the  reader  a  better  idea  of  the  extent  of  the  original  territorr,  its  area  may  be 
roughly  estimated  at  about  12,000  square  miles.  And  as  Lycoming  now  only 
contains  1,213  square  miles,  it  is  clearly  seen  of  what  vast  possessions  she  has  been 
shorn  in  fifty-two  years,  a  portion  of  Sullivan  being  the  last  slice  taken  from  her  in 
1847.  Still  she  retains  the  proud  position  of  being  the  second  county  in  point  of 
size  in  the  State,  Centre  being  the  first,  with  2,  227  square  miles.  But  Lycoming 
gave  liberally  of  her  territory  to  help  create  her. 


The  county  was  now  erected,  but  there  were  no  officers  to  organize  a  local 
government  and  administer  the  laws.  The  Governor,  therefore,  on  the  14th  of 
April,  1795,  the  day  after  he  had  approved  the  bUl,  invested  Samuel  "Wallis  and 
John  Kidd  with  authority  to  administer  oath  to  any  person  or  persons  appointed  or 
elected  to  office  within  the  limits  of  the  new  county.  The  same  day  John  Kidd  was 
commissioned  recorder  of  deeds,  prothonotary,  clerk  of  oyer  and  terminer;  clerk  of 
orphans'  court,  clerk  of  quarter  sessions,  and  register  of  wills,  ilr.  Kidd,  who 
came  from  Sunbury,  suddenly  became  a  man  of  great  importance  in  the  new  cotmty. 
He  was  a  Scotchman  by  birth,  a  gentleman  of  education,  and  wrote  a  beautiful 
round  hand,  which  is  still  admired  for  its  clearness  and  ease  to  read,  in  the  original 
books  of  record.  The  followiag  day.  April  15,  1795,  Governor  Mifflin  commissioned 
Samuel  Wallis,  William  Hepburn,  John  Adlum.,  and  Dr.  James  Davidson,  first, 
second,  third,  and  fourth  associate  judges  respectively,  to  organize  the  jadidal 
machinery  for  the  count}'.  All  were  sworn  into  office  by  John  Kidd  except  John 
Adlum.  There  is  no  record  of  his  qualification,  but  he  evidently  did  qualifj",  for 
we  find  him  acting  with  the  court  December  1,  1795.  He  soon  afterwards  removed 
to  Havre  de  Grace,  Maryland,  and  as  Mr.  Wallis  died  October  14,  1798,  but  two 
remained  to  administer  the  judicial  business  of  the  county  for  some  time. 

They  first  met  at  the  village  of  Jaysburg,  west  of  the  mouth  of  Lycoming,  and 
organized  by  electing  William  Hepburn  as  president  He  therefore  became  the 
first  president  judge  of  the  county,  but  there  is  no  record  in  existence  to  show  the 
day  this  official  transaction  took  place.  But  it  is  probable  that  the  organization  was 
effected  between  the  15th  and  2iJth  of  April. 

The  machinery  of  the  county  was  now  fairly  started,  but,  owing  to  the  meager- 
ness  of  the  records  and  the  disappearance  of  others,  we  get  but  a  faint  trace  of  what 
was  done.  The  fi/rst  official  entry  by  John  Kidd  in  the  book  of  deeds,  etc.,  was  the 
act  of  Assembly  creating  the  county.  What  business  the  court  did,  if  any,  at  the 
first  meeting  is  unknown,  but  it  probably  was  the  entering  of  a  decree  to  hold  an 
election  for  county  officers.  As  yet  there  were  no  county  funds  or  treasurer,  and 
tmtU  these  were  secured  nothing  could  be  done. 

It  is  uncertain  where  the  judges  first  met  to  organize,  probably  at  the  house  of 
Thomas  Caldwell  or  Jacob  Latcha.  Neither  is  it  known  who  owned  the  building 
used  as  a  "temporary  jaU.''  That  a  buQding  of  hewed  logs,  24x16  feet,  was 
afterwards  constructed,  strongly  lined  with  plank,  and  having  barred  windows, 
seems  certain.     It  is  said  to  have  had  two  rooms,  and  very  likely  the  prothonotary 


opened  his  office  in  one  of  them.  Who  built  and  owned  it  is  not  known,  though  it 
is  not  improbable  that  Latcha  was  the  man.  But  that  Samuel  Jordan  was  the 
jailer,  there  is  abundant  and  positive  evidence. 


After  the  appointment  of  the  ofiScers  to  organize  the  county,  the  Governor  turned 
his  attention  to  Sec.  7  of  the  act,  authorizing  him  to  appoint  five  commissioners  to 
select  a  site  for  the  county  seat.  The  Governor  evidently  was  apprised  that  there 
would  be  a  sharp  contest  between  three  points  for  the  honor  of  having  the  public 
buildings,  and  he  looked  around  carefully  to  secure  good  men  to  perform  that  duty. 
On  the  21st  of  April,  1795,  eight  days  after  the  approval  of  the  act,  the  executive 
minutes  show  that  he  made  the  following  appointments:  John  Hall,  Philadelphia; 
Francis  Nichols,  Montgomery;  Alexander  Scott,  Lancaster;  John  Edic,  York,  and 
William  Elliott,  Franklin.  The  act,  it  will  be  remembered,  distinctly  states  that 
they  "shall  meet  at  Northumberland  on  the  first  Monday  in  September  next  and 
proceed  to  select  the  most  eligible"  site  for  the  public  buildings.  This  duty  was 
required  to  be  performed  "on  or  before  the  1st  day  of  October. ' '  They  were  then 
required  to  report  the  result  of  their  work  to  the  secretary  of  the  Commonwealth, 
and  the  report  was  to  be  "final."  For  this  duty  they  were  to  be  paid  $3  per  diem  for 
every  day  so  employed,  by  warrants  drawn  by  the  commissioners  of  Northumberland 
county  on  the  treasurer  thereof. 

That  four  of  the  five  commissioners  appointed  met  and  performed  the  duty  re- 
quired of  them  by  the  act,  there  is  evidence  on  record  to  show,  but  the  most  diligent 
inquiry  failed  to  develop  the  "report"  they  submitted  to  the  secretary  of  the  Com- 
monwealth. That  they  had  a  difficult  duty  to  perform  there  is  no  doubt,  according 
to  the  traditions  handed  down.  Dunnsburg,  named  after  William  Dunn,  on  the 
mainland  above  the  Great  Island,  (now  in  Clinton  county,)  was  an  applicant  for  the 
county  seat,  and  made  a  vigorous  fight  for  it.  The  owner  of  the  land  in  the  embryo 
village  went  so  far  as  to  set  aside  a  lot  for  the  court  house,  which  he  proposed  to 
donate  for  that  purpose,  and  it  is  known  to  this  day  as  the  "court  house  lot."  The 
claim  was  made  that  as  the  location  was  further  westward  from  the  eastern  bound- 
ary, and  the  location  an  excellent  one,  it  would  be  better  for  the  inhabitants,  inas- 
much as  the  county  extended  so  far  westward.  The  idea  did  not  seem  to  enter  the 
heads  of  the  Pine  creek  settlers  at  that  time  that  the  immense  territory  might  soon 
be  divided  up  into  more  counties.  Their  argument,  therefore,  was  a  strong  one,  and 
the  proposed  donation  of  a  lot  made  it  still  stronger. 

In  the  meantime  Jaysburg  aspired  to  become  the  capital  of  the  new  county.  It 
had  been  regularly  laid  out  at  that  time  and  was  the  only  place  making  any  preten- 
sions to  a  village  west  of  Muncy.  Temporary  quarters  had  already  been  secured  for 
the  county  officers;  Prothonotary  and  Register  and  Recorder  Kidd  had  opened  his 
office,  administered  oaths,  and  commenced  the  work  of  recording  official  records;  the 
associate  judges  had  met,  organized,  and  taken  the  preliminary  steps  towards  effect- 
ing a  county  organization;  a  few  lawyers  had  opened  offices;  a  jail  had  been  impro- 
vised, a  jailer  appointed,  and  a  prisoner  or  two  incarcerated.  With  all  this  already 
in  their  grasp,  the  Jaysburgers  felt  quite  secure,  and  congratulated  themselves  that 
possession  was  equivalent  to  nine  points  of  the  law.      For  a  time  it  looked  as  if  the 


name  of  the  distinguished  jurist  and  diplomat  would  be  perpetuated  in  the  county 
seat  of  Lycoming.  But  alas !  the  aspirations  and  hopes  of  men  are  often  dissipated 
at  the  moment  they  regard  success  as  certain.  It  was  so  in  this  case.  The  prestige 
of  the  illustrious  name  of  Jay  availed  nothing.  The  town  lost  the  prize  it  consid- 
ered safe  within  its  grasp,  rapidly  went  into  decline,  passed  out  of  existence,  and 
there  are  few  of  the  present  generation  who  can  tell  where  Jaysburg  stood  and 
flourished  ninety-six  years  ago. 

Ex- Senator  Hepburn  was  deeply  interested  in  having  the  county  seat  located  on 
the  east  side  of  Lycoming  creek.  He  was  the  owner  of  a  fine  tract  of  land  called 
"Deer  Park,"  lying  on  what  would  be  the  western  border  of  the  proposed  county 
seat.  Like  many  others  of  the  time,  he  was  infected  with  the  spirit  of  land  specu- 
lation. He  had  resigned  the  office  of  State  Senator  on  the  20th  of  April,  1795,  to 
formally  accept  the  president  judgeship,  which  had  been  conferred  on  him.  five  days 
before.  In  the  meantime  Michael  Eoss  appeared  in  the  contest  as  an  important  and 
powerful  factor.  He  was  the  owner  of  285  acres  of  land  lying  in  what  is  now  the 
central  part  of  Williamsport,  and  contemplated  foiinding  a  town.  And  as  it  had 
already  been  laid  out  and  a  few  buildings  erected,  he  readily  saw  that  a  great  impe- 
tus would  be  given  it  if  it  was  made  the  county  seat.  Judge  Hepburn  shared  his 
views  and  also  realized  that  his  estate  would  be  greatly  benefited  by  the  selection. 

In  the  meantime  the  Jaysburgers  were  not  idle.  They  claimed  that  their  town 
was  the  most  eligibly  located — that  it  was  on  higher  and  dryer  ground,  and  was,  in 
every  respect,  better  fitted  for  the  county  seat.  The  fight  between  the  two  factions 
grew  more  fierce  and  acrimonious  from  day  to  day.  The  Jaysburg  faction  asserted 
that  much  of  the  land  embraced  in  the  proposed  new  town  was  swampy  and  subject 
to  inundation.  They  went  so  far  as  to  despatch  a  messenger  to  Northumberland  to 
obtain  an  affidavit  from  a  man  who  it  was  reported  had  at  one  time  brought  a 
barrel  of  whiskey  to  Williamsport  in  a  canoe,  and  "tied  up  "  at  a  point  on  what  is 
now  East  Third  and  State  streets,  or  the  old  Eberman  corner.  At  that  time  an  arm 
or  "  gut "  of  the  river  extended  through  there.  The  affidavit  was  obtained,  and 
when  the  messenger  returned  he  stopped  at  the  "Russell  Inn,"  which  stood  on  the 
northeast  corner  of  East  Third  and  Mulberry  streets.  The  report  that  he  had 
returned  with  the  proof  to  the  Commissioners  on  site,  that  floods  extended  as  far  up 
as  Market  square,  struck  terror  into  the  Hepburn-Ross  party,  and  they  immediately 
set  about  devising  some  plan  to  circumvent  the  evidence.  They  realized  that  if  such 
proof  was  laid  before  the  commissioners  it  would  probably  result  in  the  triumph  of 
their  hated  rival,  Jaysburg.  Accordingly,  the  Hepburn-Ross  party  that  night  visited 
the  messenger,  got  him  intoxicated,  stole  the  saddle  bags  in  which  he  carried  the 
damaging  affidavit,  cut  them  open,  and  destroyed  or  concealed  the  paper.  At  least 
that  is  the  supposition,  for  it  is  alleged  that  the  saddle  bags,  cut  open,  were  found 
the  next  morning! 

Things  had  now  come  to  a  desperate  pass.  The  State  commissioners  were 
becoming  wearied  over  the  strife  going  on  between  the  rival  factions,  and  there  was 
danger  that  they  might  select  Dunnsburg,  where  lots  for  the  public  buildings  had 
been  offered.  That  settled  it,  and  from  their  report  to  the  secretary  of  the  Common- 
wealth there  was  no  appeal — in  the  language  of  the  act,  it  was  "  final."  Judge  Hep- 
burn, although  he  owned  land,  was  without  money.     He  was  ambitious  and  thirsted 


for  political  honors.  Michael  Koss,  the  founder,  cared  little  about  politics,  but  was 
anxious  to  sell  lots  and  acquire  money.  Hepburn,  who  was  a  man  of  influence  at 
that  time,  succeeded  in  persuading  Eoss  that  if  he  would  tender  the  commissioners 
lots  for  the  public  buildings,  they  would  be  induced  to  select  Williamsport.  Eoss, 
thinking  that  it  would  enhance  the  value  of  his  property,  acted  upon  the  suggestion 
and  made  a  tender  of  four  lots — two  for  the  court  house  and  two  for  the  jail — 
which  the  commissioners  accepted  and  the  contest  was  brought  to  a  close.  At  this 
sudden  termination  of  the  fight  the  indignation  of  the  Jaysburg  party  was  great, 
but  they  were  helpless.  They,  however,  held  on  to  the  public  offices  so  long,  as  will 
be  shown  hereafter,  that  the  Governor  was  on  the  point  of  peremptorily  ordering 
Prothonotary  Kidd  to  remove  his  office  to  the  point  designated  as  the  county  seat. 

It  is  diificult,  on  account  of  the  lack  of  official  records,  to  get  at  all  the  facts 
regarding  that  memorable  contest.  It  is  believed  that  Michael  Eoss,  in  considera- 
tion of  the  proffered  influence  of  Judge  Hepburn  to  manipulate  the  commissioners, 
placed  himself  under  obligations  to  that  gentleman  which  ever  afterwards  kept  him 
in  straitened  circumstances,  notwithstanding  the  increased  demand  for  the  sale  of 
lots.  This  view  of  the  case  has  never  been  stated  in  print  before,  but  it  has  long 
been  privately  entertained  by  men  of  research  and  intelligence.  At  this  lapse  of 
time,  nearly  a  century,  what  is  believed  to  be  true  history,  may  be  stated.  The 
contest  was  so  hotly  waged,  and  the  principals  became  so  embittei;ed  at  each  other, 
that  fully  two  generations  passed  before  all  feeling  of  hostility  between  the  descend- 
ants of  the  respective  parties  was  effaced. 

That  the  commissioners  who  selected  the  place  for  the  county  seat  made  a  report 
to  the  secretary  of  the  Commonwealth,  in  accordance  with  the  terms  of  the  act,  there 
is  no  doubt,  but  it  can  not  be  found  at  this  day.  It  may  have  been  a  short  report 
merely  setting  forth  the  result  of  their  official  action;  or  it  may  have  entered  into 
details  recounting  the  difficulties  which  beset  them  before  arriving  at  a  conclusion. 

An  examination  of  the  minute  book  of  the  commissioners  of  Northumberland 
county  for  1795  shows  that  four  out  of  the  five  commissioners  appointed  by  the 
Governor  served  and  were  paid.  The  entries  are  quaint  and  read  as  follows: 
"September  28,  1795,  paid  John  Hall,  one  of  the  commissioners  for  fixing  the 
county  town  of  Lycoming,  £25  17s  6d;  September  28,  1795,  paid  William  Elliott 
on  the  same  business,  £22  10s."  As  Mr.  Hall  came  from  Philadelphia  the  was 
entitled  to  more  pay  and  mileage  than  Mr.  Elliott,  who  was  from  Franklin  county. 
That  explains  the  difference  in  the  pay  of  the  two. 

The  next  entry  we  find  under  date  of  October  21,  1795,  as  follows:  "Francis 
Nichols,  one  of  the  commissioners  for  fixing  the  county  of  Lycoming,  £24  15s." 
The  last  of  the  four  did  not  apply  for  some  time  for  his  pay.  Under  date  of  Feb- 
ruary 25,  1796,  is  this  entry:  "John  Edic,  for  fixing  the  seat  of  justice  of  Lycoming 
county,  $45."  There  is  nothing  on  the  minute  book  to  show  that  from  1795  on, 
Alexander  Scott,  the  fifth  commissioner,  ever  received  any  pay,  consequently  we  are 
forced  to  the  conclusion  that  he  did  not  serve,  and  the  work  therefore  was  done  by 
the  other  four  members  of  the  commission. 




Election  of  a  Shekiff  ajstd  Oommissioneks  foe  the  New  Cotjntt — Tkeasueek  Appointed 
— Total  Number  op  Taxables  in  the  Seven  Original  Townships — Assessors  and 
Justices — Election  Districts — Proceedings  op  the  Cojimissionees — Collectors  of 
Taxes — Division  of  Townships — Trouble  "With  Surveyors — Correspondence  About 
THE  County  Seat. 

ALTHOUGH  oflScers  for  the  administration  of  justice  had  been  appointed,  there 
were  none  to  enforce  the  decrees  of  the  court,  or  appoint  assessors  and  col- 
lectors of  revenue.  It  became  necessary,  therefore,  to  prepare  for  the  election  of  a 
sheriff  and  commissioners  at  the  State  election  to  be  held  the  ensuing  October. 
Just  how  the  candidates  were  placed  in  nomination  there  are  no  records  to  show. 
Probably  they  w»re  selected  by  a  caucus,  and  no  opposition  ticket  was  placed  in  the 
field.  The  people,  after  their  long  struggle  to  secure  the  new  county,  were  too 
much,  elated  over  their  victory  to  think  of  dividing  themselves  into  two  parties  to 
contend  for  the  county  of&ces.  Political  strife  did  not  become  an  element  in  local 
affairs  until  many  years  afterwards.  All  we  know  regarding  the  first  election  is  that 
Samuel  Stewart  was  chosen  sheriff,  and  John  Hanna,  James  Crawford,  and  Thomas 
Forster,  commissioners,  at  an  election  held  October  16,  1795.  Stewart  resided  in 
Nippenose  township,  Hanna  and  Crawford  were  from  Pine  and  Bald  Eagle, 
respectively,  and  Forster  from  Lycoming,  in  the  vicinity  of  Jersey  Shore. 

It  is  recorded,  October  28,  1795,  that  Samual  Stewart  filed  his  bond  in  the  sum 
of  "£2,000  for  the  faithful  performance  of  his  duty,"  with  the  following  sureties: 
Charles  Stewart,  Robert  Crawford,  and  Brattan  Caldwell.  He  took  the  oath  of 
office  before  Judge  Hepburn  and  Samuel  Wallis  at  Jaysburg,  and  immediately 
entered 'on  the  duties  of  his  office.  His  commission  was  signed  by  Alexander  James 
Dallas,  secretary  of  the  Commonwealth. 

The  commissioners,  it  seems,  were  in  no  hurry  to  assume  the  duties  of  their 
office.  On  the  1st  of  December,  1795,  the  following  entry  in  the  plain,  round  hand 
of  Prothoaotary  John  Kidd,  was  made  on  the  first  page  of  their  minute  book,  and 
as  it  is  the  first  official  entry  of  this  body  pertaining  to  the  administration  of 
county  affairs,  it  is  quoted  herewith  in  full : 

The  commissioners,  to  wit:  Thomas  Porsterf  John  Hanna,  and  .James  Crawford,  met  the 
first  day  of  December,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  one  thousand  seven  hundred  and  ninety-five, 
in  open  court  of  general  quarter  sessions  of  the  peace  and  common  pleas  for  the  county  of 
Lycoming,  and  took  the  oaths  of  office  to  he  taken  by  commissioners,  before  the  Hon.  William 
Hepburn,  John  Adlum,  and  James  Davidson,  Esquires,  judges  of  the  said  courts,  which  oath 
subscribed  by  the  commissioners  remains  filed  in  the  office  of  the  prothonotary  of  the  county 

Nothing  more  appears  to  have  been  done  at  this  meeting,  except  the   official 


organization  of  the  board.  December  15th,  the  second  entry  informs  us  that  the 
commissioners  met  "  and  by  their  warrant  under  their  hands  and  seals  appointed 
John  Kidd  to  be  treasurer  of  the  taxes,  etc. ,  for  the  county  aforesaid."  All  the 
offices  necessary  for  the  new  county  were  now  filled,  except  coroner.  It  may  be 
remarked  as  a  singular  circumstance,  that  John  Kidd  was  invested  with  more 
authority  than  usually  falls  to  the  lot  of  a  single  individual  about  a  court  house. 
He  was  prothonotary,  clerk  of  the  court  of  oyer  and  terminer,  orphans"  court,  quarter 
sessions,  register  and  recorder  of  wills,  deeds,  and  mortgages,  treasurer  of  the 
county,  and  clerk  to  the  board  of  commissioners.  The  appointment  of  a  treasurer 
was  all  the  commissioners  did  at  this  meeting.  But  as  there  were  no  funds  in  the 
treasury,  it  became  necessary  to  take  early  steps  to  procure  revenue  to  carry  on 
the  local  government.  A  treasurer  without  money  was  a  useless  officer.  Salaries 
must  be  paid  and  the  running  expenses  of  the  court  provided  for. 

At  the  third  meeting  of  the  board,  which  took  place  on  the  21st  of  December, 
1795,  important  business  was  transacted.  The  commissioners  "  issued  their  warants 
for  taking  the  eniimeration  of  the  taxable  inhabitants  of  the  county,  returnable  at 
Jaysburg  the  first  Tuesday  in  January  next."  This  was  in  accordance  with  the 
tenth  section  of  the  act  creating  the  county;  and  a  return  to  the  legislature  was 
required  "  on  or  before  the  1st  of  February,  1796."  The  following  return- 
ing officers  were  appointed,  to  whom  the  warrants  were  directed: 
Muncy  township,  James  McKelvey;  Loyalsock,  Samuel  Harris;  Lycom- 
ing, William  Boyd;  Nippenose,  George  Quigley;  Washington,  Andrew 
Culbertson;  Lower  Bald  Eagle,  James  Burchfield;  Pine  Creek,  Hugh  Andrews. 
These  were  the  seven  original  townships  into  which  the  vast  territory  of  Lycoming 
was  divided.  The  settled  territory  commenced  at  Muncy,  took  in  a  portion  of 
White  Deer  and  Nippenose  valleys,  extended  up  the  river  to  Bald  Eagle  valley, 
beyond  which  was  an  unknown  wilderness.  A  few  settlements  had  also  been  made 
on  Loyalsock,   Lycoming,  and  Pine  creeks,  a  few  miles  above  their  mouths. 

The  nest  meeting  of  the  board  was  held  January  5,  1796,  at  Jaysburg,  when 
returns  from  the  enumerators  were  received.  This  was  the  first  enumeration  of  the 
taxable  inhabitants  of  Lycoming,  and  the  total  number  in  the  seven  original  town- 
ships may  be  recapitulated  as  follows: 

Muncy  Townsliip 378 

Pine  Creek 


Lower  Bald  Eagle 158 

Total  taxables,  January,  1796 1,386 

An  average  of  three  inhabitants  to  each  taxable — which  is  undoubtedly  a  fair 
estimate — would  give  a  population  of  4,158  in  Lycoming  county  at  that  time.  The 
census  of  1890  shows  a  population  of  70,579,  or  an  increase  of  over  66,000  in 
ninety-four  years.  But  it  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  immense  territory  which 
comprised  the  county  when  it  was  first  erected  has  since  aided  in  forming  over  a 
dozen  populous  counties,  and  the  aggregate  population  now  considerably  exceeds 
half  a  million! 



The  reports  of  the  enumerators  were  made  early  iu  -January,  except  that  of 
Muncy,  which  was  not  received  till  February  1st.  No  returns  of  property  being 
made  from  any  of  the  townships,  however,  the  commissioners  "issued  their  precepts 
for  that  purpose  retui'nable  at  Jaysburg  the  1st  day  of  February,"  under  date  of 
January  6,  1796.  To  show  who  the  assessors  were  that  made  the  first  return  of 
property  their  names  are  taken  from  the  official  minutes : 

Muncy  Township. — Benjamin  Warner,  assessor,  elected  by  the  township.  Henry  Shoe- 
maker, John  Batton,  assistant  assessors,  appointed  by  the  commissioners  in  default  of  election  by 
the  township. 

Loyalsock. — Samuel  Harris,  appointed  by  the  commissioners  In  default  of  election.  Samuel 
Orier,  William  Benjamin,  assistants. 

Lycoming. — Brattan  Caldwell,  elected  by  the  to'wiiship.  Joseph  MahaSey,  James  Douglas, 
assistants,  elected  by  the  township.  Mahaffey  refused  to  serve  and  the  commissioners  appointed 
Isaac  Smith  in  his  place. 

Pine  Creek. — Eobert  Shaw,  elected  by  the  township.  John  Chatham,  David  Hanna,  assist- 
ants, elected  by  the  township. 

Lower  Bald  Eagle. — James  Burchfield,  appointed  by  the  commissioners  in  default  of  an 
election  by  the  township.     John  Donnel,  assistant. 

Nippenose. — Robert  Love,  elected  by  the  township.  Samuel  Montgomery,  James  Patterson, 
assistants,  appointed  by  commissioners  in  default  of  election  by  the  township. 

Washington. — Marcus  Hullngs,  appointed  by  commissioners  in  default  of  election  by  the 
township.    John  Eson,  John  Lawson,  assistants,  appointed  also. 

Soon  after  the  county  was  organized  the  following  justices  of  the  peace  were 
commissioned  and  districts  assigned  them: 

1.  William  Carter,  April  4,  1796.  District — Lycoming,  Loyalsock,  and  Pine 

2.  Richard  Salmon,  February  13,  1797.  District — Lycoming,  Loyalsock,  and 
Pine  Creek. 

3.  Frederick  Richards,  June  16,  1796.     District — Bald  Eagle  and  Nippenose. 

4.  William  Wilson,  January  25,  1796.  District — Loyalsock,  Lycoming,  and 
Pine  Creek. 

5.  John  Hanna,  March  15,  1797.      District — Pine,  Lycoming,  and  Loyalsock. 
On  the  27th  of  February,  1796,  the  commissioners  having  arranged  the  quota  of 

tax  for  each  township,  issued  their  warrants  to  the  assessors  as  follows:  Lycoming 
township,  £234  5s,  Brattan  Caldwell;  Muncy,  £209,  Benjamin  Warner;  Washing- 
ton, £41,  Marcus  Hulings;  Loyalsock,  £60,  Samuel  Harris;  Lower  Bald  Eagle,  £102, 
James  Burchfield;  Nippenose,  £54,  Robert  Love;  Pine  Creek,  £64,  Robert  Shaw. 

That  the  reader  may  be  apprised  of  the  cost  of  making  the  first  assessment  of 
the  county,  an  extract  from  the  record  is  made.  By  comparing  it  with  what  it  costs 
to  make  the  assessment  of  to-day,  our  advancement  in  material  wealth  is  more  clearly 
seen  and  understood.  The  commissioners  met  at  Jaj^sburg  April  1,  1796,  "  to  make 
and  confirm  the  duplicates  to  the  collectors  of  each  township  according  to  the  tenor 
of  their  warrants  to  the  assessors.' '  On  the  4th  they  issued  orders  for  the  payment 
of  the  assessors  and  their  assistants  as  follows : 

Nippenose. — Robert  Love,  $17;  assistants,  James  Patterson,  S4;  Samuel  Mont- 
gomery, $4. 

Lycoming. — Brattan  Caldwell,  ^21.25;  assistants,  Isaac  Smith,  $8;  James 
Douglas,  $8. 


Pine  Creek. — Eobert  Shaw,  §26;  assistants,  John  Chatham,  S6;  David 
Hanna,  86. 

Loyalsock. — Samuel  Harris,  S16;  assistants,  Samuel  Grier,  S2;  William  Benja- 
min, f  2. 

Washington. — Marcus  Huling,  §19;  assistants,  John  Eson,  15.50;  John  Lawson, 
$4  50. 

Muncy. — Benjamin  Warner,  §27;  assistants,  John  Battin,  §8;  Henry  Shoe- 
maker, SS. 

Lower  Bald  Eagle. — James  Burchfield,  $14;  assistants,  John  Donel,  §5;  Jesse 
Hunt,  S5. 

Total  cost  of  making  the  first  assessment,  $216.25.  On  the-9th  the  commission- 
ers issued  an  order  to  William  Culbertson  for  "  £6  5s  for  his  services  as  a  clerk." 

The  next  meeting  of  the  board  was  held  March  9,  1796,  at  Jaysburg,  when  "the 
commissioners  issued  their  warrants  to  the  collectors  of  the  different  townships  as 

Lower  Bald  Eagle,  .James  Boyd,  collector £103 

Washington,  Marcus  Huling,  collector    41 

Muncy,  Henry  Buck,  collector  209 

Loyalsock,  Alexander  Smith,  collector    60 

Nippenose,  Robert  Love,  collector    54 

Pine  Creek,  Eobert  Hamilton,  collector 64 

Lycoming,  Mathew  Wilson,  collector  234  5s. 

Total     £764  os. 

Some  time  during  1796  the  court  authorized  the  erection  of  a  new  township  out 
of  Lycoming  and  it  was  named  Mifflin,  in  honor  of  the  Governor.  The  dividing 
line  was  Pine  run,  and  the  territory  extended  to  Pine  creek. 

It  does  not  appear  that  the  commissioners  collected  pay  for  their  services  for  the 
fractional  part  of  1795,  which  was  only  one  month,  but  for  1796,  the  first  full  year, 
they  awarded  themselves  the  following  sums:  Thomas  Forster,  £60;  John  Hanna, 
£55  3s  9d;  James  Crawford,  £65.  On  the  22d  of  February,  1797,  an  order  for  £12 
was  drawn  on  the  treasurer  in  favor  of  Joseph  Foulke,  in  payment  of  his  services 
as  clerk  to  that  date. 


March  21,  1797,  the  Assembly  passed  a  law  dividing  Lycoming  county  into  five 
election  districts,  to  wit: 

The  township  of  Loyalsock  and  that  part  of  Lycoming  township  lying  east  of  Pine  run,  and 
also  that  part  of  Washington  township  lying  north  of  the  Bald  Eagle  mountain,  being  the  First 
election  district,  the  freemen  residing  therein  shall  hold  their  general  elections  at  the  court 
house;  the  township  of  Muncy  and  that  part  of  the  township  of  Washington  lying  south  of  the 
Bald  Eagle  mountain,  being  the  Second  election  district,  the  freemen  residing  therein  shall 
hold  their  general  elections  at  the  house  now  occupied  by  Henry  Shoemaker,  Jr.,  in  the  town- 
ship of  Muncy  aforesaid;  and  that  part  of  the  township  of  Lycoming  being  west  of  Pine  run, 
and  that  part  of  Pine  Creek  township  east  of  Chatham's  run,  and  the  township  of  iSTippenose, 
being  the  Third  election  district,  the  freemen  residing  therein  shall  hold  their  general  elections 
at  the  house  now  occupied  by  Thomas  Ramsey,  at  Pine  creek;  and  that  part  of  the  township  of 
Pine  creek  west  of  Chatham's  run,  being  the  Fourth  election  district,  the  freemen  residing 
therein  shall  hold  their  general  elections  at  the  house  now  occupied  by  Hugh  Andrew,  in 


Dunnsburgh;  the  township  of  Bald  Eagle,  being  the  Fifth  election  district,  the  freemen 
residing  therein  shall  hold  their  general  elections  at  the  house  now  occupied  by  Frederick 
Richards  in  said  township. 


That  the  commissioners  still  kept  their  office  at  Jaysburg,  notwithstanding 
Williamsport  had  been  selected  as  the  county  seat  in  the  summer  of  1795,  is  shown 
by  an  entry  in  the  minute  book  for  April  9,  1797,  which  reads:  "The  commissioners 
agree  with  John  Carothers  to  pay  him  £3  rent  for  the  room  formerly  occupied 
by  the  commissioners,  exclusive  of  fire  wood  and  candles,  for  one  year." 

At  a  meeting  held  May  17,  1797,  the  commissioners  issued  their  warrants  to  the 
collectors  of  the  different  townships,  and  as  the  amount  of  each  duplicate,  when  con- 
trasted with  that  of  the  preceding  year,  is  interesting  to  show  the  progress  made 
in  the  short  time  of  our  existence  as  a  county,  they  are  transcribed  from  the  official 
record  as  follows: 

Muncy  Township. — Thomas  McCarty,  collector;  residents,  £175  5s  6d,  unseated 
lands,  £25  7s  lid,  single  men,  £23  12s.  6d.     Total,  £224  5s,  lid. 

Loyalsock. — James  Tothill,  collector;  residents,  £74  Os  8d,  unseated  lands,  £60 
Os  6d,  single  men,  £8  8s  9d.     Total,  £142  98  lid. 

Washington. — Cornelius  Vanfleet,  collector;  residents,  £64  14s  lid,  unseated 
lands,  £24  16s  6d,  single  men,  £5  12s  6d.     Total,  £95  3s  lid. 

Lycoming. — John  Martin,  collector;  residents,  £83  13s  lid,  unseated  lands, 
£17  is  lOd,  inmates  (?),  £2  7s  6d,  single  men,  £10  2s  6d.     Total,   £113  5s  9d. 

Mifflin. — James  Stevenson,  collector;  residents,  £81  16s  6d,  unseated  lands, 
£204  9s  7d,  single  men,  £11  5s.     Total,  £297  lis  Id. 

Nippenose. — Robert  Crawford,  collector;  residents,  £57  16s  9d,  unseated  lands, 
£58  lis  9d,  single  men,  £10  13s  9d.     Total,  £127  2s  3d. 

Pine  Creek. — John  Jackson,  collector;  residents,  £92  6s  lid,  unseated  lands, 
£41  17s  7d,  single  men,  £15  3s  9d.     Total,  £149  8s  3d. 

Lower  Bald  Eagle. — Matthew  Alison,  collector;  residents,  £137  15s  6d,  un- 
seated lands,  £118  5s  Id,  single  men,  £7  6s  3d.  Total,  £263  6s  lOd.  Grand, 
total,  £1,412  13s  lid. 

At  this  meeting  the  commissioners  ' '  wrote  and  signed  sis.  circular  letters  to  the 
respective  deputy  surveyors  of  the  district,  requiring  them  to  make  accurate  returns 
of  all  the  land  by  them  surveyed  on  warrants,  etc. ,  agreeable  to  the  act  of  Assem- 
bly," on  or  before  a  certain  time,  which  is  not  specified  in  the  order.  The  survey- 
ors were  as  follows:  William  P.  Brady,  William  Ellis,  Henry  Donnel,  John  Canan, 
James  Hunter,  and  John  Brodhead. 

That  the  jail  was  still  kept  at  Jaysburg  is  shown  by  an  order  on  the  treasurer, 
September  12,  1797,  in  favor  of  "  Samuel  Jordan,  keeper  of  the  temporary  jail,  for 
£4  13s  9d,  on  account  of  iron,  etc."  Immediately  following  this  entry  is  another 
stating  that  the  commissioners  had  issued  an  order  "  in  favor  of  Samuel  Stewart, 
sheriff,  for  £26  2s  lid  as  rent  for  the  jail,  etc."  But  as  the  time  covered  by  the 
order  is  not  stated,  we  have  no  means  of  knowing  whether  it  was  for  a  year  or  less. 
Possibly  it  was  for  the  year  ending  about  that  time. 

Muncy  township  was  divided  by  order  of  the  court  this  year  and  the  new  town- 
ship named  Muncy  Creek.      The  division  was  rendered  necessary  on  account   of  the 



extensive  territory  embraced  by  the  original  township  and  the    increase  of  popula- 
tion.     The  county  was  now  divided  into  nine  townships. 

At  a  meeting  held  December  4,  1797,  the  name  of  William  Wilson  appears  for 
the  first  time  on  the  minutes  as  a  commissioner.  He  took  the  place  of  Thomas 
Forster,  who  was  the  first  member  of  the  original  board  to  retire.  The  time  of 
meeting  was  the  "  first  Monday  in  December,"  which,  we  are  informed  by  a  minute, 
was  "  according  to  law."  A  return  was  received  from  "William  Ellis  of  all  lands 
surveyed  and  returned  within  his  district,  with  his  account  for  $74. 88,  for  1,872 
tracts  of  land. "  William  P.  Brady  sent  in  his  return  of  lands  surveyed  through 
John  Kidd,  but  the  number  of  tracts  and  the  cost  of  survey  are  not  given.  Henry 
Donnel  also  made  his  return,  but  no  particulars  are  mentioned.  This  appears  to 
have  been  all  the  business  done  at  this  meeting  which  was  deemed  worthy  of  record, 
for  the  next  entry,  under  date  of  December  28th,  informs  us  that  the  board  met  at 
Jaysburg  "  according  to  law,"  but  no  business  appears  to  have  been  transacted. 
Thus  closed  the  year  1797. 

They  did  not  remain  away  very  long  from  the  temporary  county  seat,  for  under 
date  of  JaQuary  2,  1798,  we  find  them  in  session  again.  At  this  meeting  "no 
returns  of  property"  were  made  from  any  of  the  townships,  whereupon  the  commis- 
sioners issued  their  precepts  for  that  purpose  returnable  at  Jaysburg  the  2d  of 
February,  1798,  to  the  following  assessors:  Muncy  Creek,  Judah  Foulke;  Muncy, 
Benjamin  Warner;  Loyalsock,  Samuel  Harris;  Washington,  Marcus  Hulings; 
Lycoming,  Brattan  Caldwell;  Mifflin,  James  Stevenson;  Nippenose,  Robert  Love; 
Pine  Creek,  Robert  Shaw;  Lower  Bald  Eagle,  John  Black. 

The  first  election  contest  in  the  county  of  which  we  have  any  record  took  place 
this  year,  for  a  minute  informs  us  that  on  January  5th  the  "  commissioners  issued 
schedules  or  copies  of  the  taxable  inhabitants  within  each  election  district  in  the 
county  of  Lycoming  to  the  House  of  Representatives,  by  order  of  the  select  com- 
mittee for  trial  of  the  contested  election."  What  the  contest  was  about  we  are  unin- 

At  this  meeting  the  commissioners  issued  their  "  warrants  of  sale  to  the  sherifP  of 
thecounty,"  returnable  at  Jaysburg  the  2d  of  February  next,  against  the  collectors  of 
taxes  for  1796.  As  the  delinquencies  of  these  collectors — the  first  of  the  county — 
forms  a  curious  incident  in  the  early  history  of  our  organization,  they  are  given  in 
full  to  show  that  trouble  with  tax  gatherers  commenced  in  the  beginning  and  has 
continued  down  to  the  present  day.     The  transcript  from  the  record  is  as  follows : 

£  s.        d. 

/Debt 234  5  0 

Matthew  Wilson  ]  Sheriff  fees • 18  6 

'  Commissioners 15  0 

235~     18  6 

(  Debt ; 54  0  0 

Robert  Love         ]  Sheriff  fees 13  8 

C  Commissioners 15  0 

55        18  8 

r  Debt 102  0  0 

James  Boyd          •]  Sheriff  fees 1  10  9 

(.  Commissioners 15  0 

10^  5  9^ 



£  s.        d. 

rDebt 41  0  0 

Marcus  Huling     ]  Sheriff  fees 14  5 

'  Commissioijers 15  0 

~42~      9  5 

(  Debt 64  0  0 

Robert  Hamilton  <  Sheriff  fees , 1  3  9 

(.  Commissioners 15  0 

~65~  18  9 

According  to  the  record  the  commissioners  met  January  29,  1798,  at  Jaysburg, 
' '  for  the  purpose  of  receiving  the  returns  of  property  of  the  townships  of  the 
county."  That  they  remained  in  session  several  days  is  evident,  for  on  the  2d  of 
February  we  find  an  entry  to  the  effect  that  on  this  day  they  "  issued  an  order  on 
the  treasurer  in  favor  of  Samuel  Jordan,  keeper  of  the  temporary  jail,  from  the  12th 
of  September,  1797,  to  this  date,  for  $15.40.  This  order  was  followed  by  another 
dated  February  23,  1798,  directing  Samuel  Jordan  to  be  paid  £3  5s,  omitted  in  his 
last  bill  of  jail  fees." 

There  is  no  record  to  show  what  the  outcome  was  with  the  delinquent  collectors. 
It  also  appears  they  had  some  trouble  with  their  deputy  surveyors,  for  an  entry 
dated  February  22d  informs  us  that  on  that  day  an  order  was  issued  ' '  on  the  treas- 
urer in  favor  of  Martin  Wilson  for  £11  for  services  rendered  by  going  to  Hunting- 
don for  the  returns  of  unseated  lands,  etc.,  from  John  Canan  and  James  Hunter." 
The  following  day  this  important  resolution  is  entered  on  the  minute  book: 

Whereas,  We,  the  commissioners  of  Lycoming  county  have  required  John  Brodhead, 
Esq.,  a  deputy  surveyor  of  this  county,  to  make  return  to  us  according  to  the  act  of  Assembly 
entitled  "  An  act  to  regulate  the  mode  of  assessing  and  collecting  county  rates  and  levies," 
passed  the  17th  day  of  April,  1795,  of  all  the  lands  surveyed  in  his  district,  and  the  said  John 
Brodhead  hath  neglected  and  refused  to  make  return  accordingly  to  us,  we  do  therefere  fine  the 
said  -John  Brodhead  in  the  sum  of  .flOO  for  his  neglect  and  refusal  aforesaid,  according  to  the 
form,  force,  and  effect  of  the  act  of  Assembly  aforesaid.  And  we  the  commissioners,  direct 
John  Kidd,  treasurer  of  the  county  aforesaid,  to  sue  for  and  recover  the  same  according  to  law. 

Jaysburg,  March  1,  1798. 

Immediately  following  the  above  is  another  resolution,  couched  in  the  same  lan- 
guage and  referring  to  John  Canan,  one  of  the  deputy  surveyors,  declaring  him 
guilty  of  the  same  neglect  as  Brodhead,  and  directing  the  county  treasurer  to  bring 
suit  against  him  for  $100. 

This  action  of  the  commissioners  seems  to  have  had  a  stimulating  effect  on  tax 
collectors,  at  least,  for  numerous  entries  soon  after  appear  to  their  credit,  indicating 
unusual  activity  on  their  part.  But  nothing  appears  to  show  what  luck  Treasurer 
Kidd  had  in  collecting  the  fines  imposed  on  the  deputy  surveyors. 

On  the  24th  of  April,  1798,  the  commissioners  paid  John  Carothers  $18.66 
"for  one  year's  rent  of  a  room,  fire,  candles,  a  vrriting  desk,  etc."  The  assessors 
were  also  paid  for  their  services  in  making  the  last  assessment.  Sheriff  Samuel 
Stewart  received  an  order,  June  13,  1798,  for  ' '  150  for  rent  of  a  house  occupied  as 
a  jail,  and  $16  for  repairs  of  said  house."  July  2d,  Joseph  Foulke  was  paid  £72  lis 
"  for  services  clerking  to  the  board  from  the  24th  of  February,  1797,  to  this  date." 
No  further  entries  of  any  importance  appear  till  November  28th,  when  an  order  was 
issued  directing  the  treasurer  to   pay  William  Ellis,  deputy   surveyor,   174.88  for 


making  a  return  of  1,8'?2  tracts  of  unseated  land  in  his  district.  In  this  connection 
it  may  be  noted  as  a  curious  fact,  that  the  commissioners'  minute  book  was  written 
Tip  by  John  Kidd,  prothonotary,  etc.,  and  that  he  drew  the  orders  on  himself,  as  treas- 
urer, for  the  payment  of  all  bills  relating  to  the  administration  of  civil  affairs.  All 
the  entries  are  in  his  plain,  bold,  round  hand,  which  admits  of  no  doubt  as  to 

The  first  entry  we  find  relating  to  the  expense  of  boarding  prisoners  appears 
under  date  of  December  5,  1798.     It  reads: 

Issued  an  order  on  the  treasurer  in  favor  of  Samuel  Jordan,  jailer,  for  |39.15  as  follows: 
Per  Ale.  S.  Hamilton,  from  the  1st  of  April  to  20  August,  at  25  cents  per  day,  $29.30;  for  Israel 
Sanders,  15  days,  .f3.75;  Jonathan  Baily,  16  days,  $4;  Henry  Dougherty,  10  days,  |2.50,  making 
in  the  whole  .f  39.15. 

For  what  offences  they  were  incarcerated  it  is  impossible  to  say,  as  the  quarter 
sessions  record  for  that  period  can  not  be  found.  The  only  clue  we  have  to  any  crim- 
inal business  in  the  court  for  the  year  1798  is  an  entry  on  the  minute  book  for  De- 
cember 10th  of  that  year,  directing  that  an  order  be  drawn  on  the  treasurer  "in 
favor  of  Jonathan  "Walker,  Esq.,  attorney  general,  for  £78  12s 6d,  as  fees  for  ignored 
bills,  etc.,  from  February  sessions,  1796,  until  December  sessions,  1798,  inclusive." 
It  is  not  unreasonable  to  suppose,  therefore,  that  these  parties  were  the  first  con- 
victed and  imprisoned  for  any  length  of  time,  although  it  is  believed  that  the  "tem- 
porary jail"  was  used  before  this  for  confining  refractory  individuals;  but  it  may 
have  been  more  in  the  form  of  a  police  lockup. 

The  commissioners,  finding  that  no  returns  of  property  from  any  of  the  tovm- 
ships  had  been  made,  "  issued  their  ^^recept  for  that  purpose  returnable  at  Jays- 
burg  the  first  Tuesday  of  Januai'y,  1799,"  and  directed  it  to  the  assessors.  Wayne 
having  been  erected  as  a  township  this  year,  there  were  now  ten  in  the  county  to  be 
looked  after  by  the  board.  Sebastian  Shade  was  the  assessor  elected  for  this  town- 
ship, with  George  Quiggle  and  James  Stone  as  assistants.  Wayne  was  taken 
from  the  upper  end  of  Nippenose  and  named  after  "Mad  Anthony." 

The  last  official  act  of  the  commissioners  for  1798  was  the  re- appointment 
(December  25th,)  of  John  Kidd  as  "treasurer  of  taxes,  etc.,  for  the  county  of 
Xiycoming."  He  gave  bond  in  £2,000,  with  William  Ellis  as  surety.  The 
board  then  adjourned  to  meet  at  their  office  in  Jaysburg  the  first  Tuesday  of  Jan- 
uary, 1799. 

When  they  met  to  close  out  the  last  year  of  the  eighteenth  century,  their  first 
act,  under  date  of  January  3d,  was  to  issue  orders  to  pay  themselves  for  past  serv- 
ices, as  follows:  William  Wilson,  for  1797,  £55;  William  Wilson,  for  1798,  £80: 
James  Crawford,  for  1798,  £80;  Henry  Donnel,  for  1798,  £52. 

In  those  days  the  commissioners  were  not  extravagant  in  the  use  of  stationery, 
if  we  may  judge  from  the  amount  of  orders  drawn.  On  the  18th  of  January  an 
order  was  drawn  in  favor  "of  John  Calvert  for  50  cents  for  an  inkpot,  for  the  use 
of  the  commissioners,"  and  one  in  favor  "  of  Thomas  Caldwell  for  8s  for  four 
quires  of  writing  paper,  for  county  use."  Mr.  Caldwell  was  the  third  storekeeper 
in  Jaysburg,  having  succeeded  James  Grier,  who  was  the  second.  February  19th 
they  paid  Joseph  Foulke  £47  9s  9d  by  an  order  on  the  treasurer,  "on  account  of 
clerking  to  the  board. "      The  same  day  "Samuel  Stewart,  late  sheriff,"  was  paid 


1290. 26  for  "  ignored  bills,  prosecutions,  acquittals,  persons  poor,  etc."  Immedi- 
ately following  this  entry  is  another  in  favor  of  the  "  late  sheriff"  for  $15.50,  for 
"  miscellaneous  public  expenditures. ' ' 

John  Cummings  was  now  sheriff,  having  succeeded  Samuel  Stewart  by  election 
in  October,  1798,  and  on  the  3d  of  May  he  was  granted  an  order  ' '  for  150  in  full 
for  one  year's  rent  of  a  house  as  a  jail."  Whether  this  jail  was  the  old  one  located 
in  Jaysburg,  or  a  new  one  in  Williamsport,  the  record  does  not  inform  us,  but  the 
inference  is  that  it  was  for  the  same  building  occupied  for  that  purpose  for  several 
years  in  Jaysburg,  for  on  May  4,  1799,  there  is  a  minute  stating  "that  the  com- 
missioners agree  with  the  sheriff  for  the  rent  of  a  house  as  a  jail,  which  was  formerly/ 
occupied  for  that  purpose,  the  agreement  to  continue  until  the  end  of  the  year. ' ' 
The  same  day  an  order  was  issued  to  "Samuel  Jordan,  gaoler,  for  $5.50,  for  ex- 
pense of  keeping  Jonathan  Church,  etc."  As  Jordan  was  a  resident  of  Jaysburg,. 
it  seems  pretty  clear  that  the  jail  had  not  yet  been  moved  to  the  coufity  seat.  On 
the  5th  September,  1799,  an  order  on  the  treasurer,  in  favor  of  Jordan,  "  for  jail 
fees  for  boarding  Uriah  Spencer,  John  Patton,  and  John  Alward,  for  $27,  was 
drawn."  John  Alward,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  the  first  man  to  build  a  mill  at 
Muncy.  Misfortune  seems  to  have  followed  him,  for  he  was  afterwards  imprisoned 
for  debt  in  Berks  county,  and  was  only  released  after  filing  an  affidavit  of  his 
inability  to  pay.  His  imprisonment  here  may  have  been  the  beginning  of  his 
troubles.  It  appears  that  Charles  Hall,  Esq. ,  was  employed  by  the  Commonwealth 
in  the  prosecution  of  John  Alward  and  others,  for  on  the  6th  of  September  he  was 
paid,  by  direction  of  the  commissioners,  $37.75,  for  his  services,  "and  for  wit- 
nesses, etc."  On  the  21st  "John  Kidd,  Esq.,  clerk  of  the  sessions,"  received 
1438.83  "  for  his  fees  on  acquittals,  ignored  bills,  etc."  The  same  day  he  also 
received  an  order  for  .$22.20  "for  recording  commissions  of  judges  and  justices 
of  the  peace,"  and  another  order  for  $70.01  "  for  providing  paper  for  commissioners 
and  court,  books,  seals,  press,  etc.,"  making  a  total  of  1530.54  in  three  orders. 
Previous  to  this  the  prothonotary  had  no  seals  or  press,  for  there  is  nothing  in  the 
records  to  show  that  these  articles,  indispensable  in  modern  days,  had  been  pro- 
vided before.  The  entries  on  the  minute  book  after  the  beginning  of  1799  show 
a  rapid  increase,  and  they  continued  to  increase  as  the  year  wore  away. 

The  cost  of  providing  election  boxes  in  those  days  is  shown  by  an  order  under 
date  of  October  15,  1799,  to  "Matthew  Adams,  for  $12  for  services  making 
boxes."  There  were  only  ten  townships  at  that  time.  Two  extra  boxes  were 
probably  held  in  reserve  in  case  of  accident.  Some  of  the  voters  had  to  travel 
twenty,  thirty,  and  even  more  miles,  if  they  wished  to  exercise  the  right  of  suf- 
frage. But  many  settlers  did  not  vote  at  all,  on  account  of  the  great  distance  they 
would  have  to  travel. 

The  last  entries  made  in  the  minute  book  from  which  the  foregoing  facts  relating 
to  our  early  organization  have  been  deduced,  and  which  was  the  first  book  opened 
by  the  commissioners,  were  under  date  of  October  15,  1799.  After  that  there  is  a 
blank  of  several  months.  About  this  time  the  State  election  was  held  and  two  new 
commissioners  were  chosen.  When  the  new  board  met  and  organized  they  undoub- 
tedly opened  a  new  minute  book,  but  the  most  diligent  search  has  failed  to  develop 



That  a  great  deal  of  diasatisfaction  existed  regarding  the  location  of  the  county 
seat  at  Williamsport  has  been  shown.  At  the  time  the  latter  place  was  selected 
there  were  not  more  than  three  or  four  log  buildings  scattered  over  an  extensive  ter- 
ritory. Money  to  erect  public  buildings  could  not  be  secured  in  a  day,  and  much 
time  necessarily  elapsed  before  arrangements  could  be  made  for  that  purpose.  The 
antipathy  of  the  Jaysburgers,  too,  caused  things  to  move  slow.  The  commissioners 
made  their  headquarters  at  the  latter  place  till  the  close  of  the  century,  and  from 
December  1,  1795,  when  the  board  first  met  and  was  sworn  in,. down  to  October  15, 
1799,  a  period  of  about  four  years,  there  is  not  an  entry  on  their  minutes  to  show 
that  the  question  of  erecting  public  buildings  ever  came  up.  Prothonotary  Kidd, 
who  held  all  the  oiSces  excepting  judge,  sheriil,  and  commissioners,  kept  his  head- 
quarters and  the  county  records  at  Jaysburg.  The  court,  after  holding  two  sessions 
at  Jaysburg,  became  peripatetic — as  will  hereafter  be  shown — and  moved  about  for 
several  years  over  the  Williamsport  territory.  It  was  evidently  waiting  for  a  local 

That  the  reluctance  or  tardiness  of  the  sheriff,  the  commissioners,  and  Kidd,  to 
remove  the  offices  from  Jaysburg  and  locate  them  at  the  county  seat  became  a  sub- 
ject of  remark,  there  is  reason  to  believe.  Complaint  of  this  dereliction  of  duty, 
if  not  positive  disobedience  of  the  law,  seems  to  have  been  made  to  the  Governor, 
and  at  one  time  he  seriously  contemplated  issuing  an  order  for  the  removal  to  be 
made.     The  feeling  regarding  this  matter  is  shown  by  the  following  correspondence : 

Williamsport,  June  4,  1798. 

Sir:  Some  time  last  winter  I  wrote  to  the  Governor  [Mifflin]  for  permission  to  keep  my 
offices  at  Jaysburg  for  another  year.  I  mentioned  at  large  my  reasons  for  the  application,  and 
principally  rested  upon  the  unsettled  situation  of  our  seat  of  justice.  I  had  my  application 
presented  by  Chief  Justice  McKean.  His  letter  of  the  10th  of  February  last,  of  which  I  send 
you  a  copy,  satisfied  me.  I  particularly  noticed  your  expressions  on  this  subject  to  the  Chief 
Justice.     In  return  for  your  attention  please  to  accept  my  sincere  thanks. 

Afterwards,  about  the  latter  end  of  April,  I  was  privately  informed  that  application  had 
been  made  to  the  Governor  to  obtain  a  refusal  of  his  promise  to  stay  at  Jaysburg  and  to  direct 
me  to  remove  to  Williamsport.  At  May  term  I  removed  all  my  papers  belonging  to  the  offices 
of  prothonotary  and  others  connected  with  the  courts,  to  this  place,  whereat  I  now  keep  them, 
and  wrote  to  the  Governor  that  I  had  done  so.  I  informed  him  at  the  same  time  that  then  I  still 
retained  the  recorder's  office  at  Jaysburg;  but  that  unless  I  could  speedily  obtain  his  permission 
to  keep  it  there  I  would  remove  it  likewise. 

Mr.  Joseph  J.  Wallis,  a  young  man  at  Jaysburg,  records  for  me.  His  situation  renders  it  very 
inconvenient  for  him  to  remove  with  me — this  summer  at  least.  I  am  desirous  on  this  account  of 
retaining  my  office  of  recorder  at  .Jaysburg  for  this  summer  or  until  next  spring.  There  is  as 
yet  little  business  to  be  done  in  the  prothonotary's  office  in  vacation,  and  the  two  towns  of  Jays- 
burg and  Williamsport  being  about  two  miles  distant,  easily  admit  of  a  superintendence  at  both 
places.  I  have  written  to  the  Governor  of  this  date  requesting  that  permission.  In  fulfillment 
of  my  promise  to  the  Governor,  I  will  remove  that  office  likewise  about  the  30th  instant,  unless 
I  first  receive  his  permission.  If  I  am  directed,  I  will  do  it  on  the  first  notification  of  the 
Governor's  pleasure. 

I  now  take  the  liberty  to  solicit  your  good  offices  in  this  behalf,  which,  should  I  be  so  fort- 
unate as  to  interest,  I  shall  gratefully  remember  it. 

I  am  sir,  your  very  humble  servant, 

.John  Kidd. 

Alexander  J.  Dallas,  Esq., 

Secretary  of  State, 



The  tenor  of  this  letter  clearly  indicates  that  influences  were  at  work  to  have  all 
the  offices  removed  from  Jaysburg,  and  that  there  was  imminent  danger  of  the 
Governor  directing  the  same  to  be  done.  Humble  apologies  and  subservient 
promises  only  restrained  him  from  acting.  It  seems  that  a  dilly-dallying  policy  had 
been  pursued  by  the  officials  whose  duty  it  was  to  have  made  arrangements  for  the 
change,  which  leads  to  the  conclusion  that  the  opponents  of  Williamsport  still  hoped 
that  the  decision  of  the  commissioners  who  selected  the  site  might  yet  be  set  aside 
and  Jaysburg  chosen;  If  they  entertained  such  an  opinion,  they  clearly  overlooked 
the  language  of  Sec.  7  of  the  act  creating  the  new  county,  which  clearly  says 
that  the  report  of  the  commissioners  selecting  the  site  for  the  seat  of  justice  "  shall 
be  iinal."  Had  it  not  been  for  this  positive  language  it  is  probable  that  Jaysburg 
would  have  triumphed  in  the  end.  But  the  law,  and  the  legislature — owing 
to  the  influence  of  Judge  Hepburn — was  dead  against  her  and  she  had  to  submit  to 
the  decree  of  fate,  go  into  decline,  and  finally  pass  out  of  existence. 

A  copy  of  Chief  Justice  McKean's  letter  in  reply  to  the  one  written  by  Kidd, 
to  which  he  refers  in  his  communication  to  A.  J.  Dallas,  is  appended  to  complete 
this  correspondence: 

Philadelpliia,  February  10,  1798. 

Sir  :  Tlie  Governor  called  at  my  house  the  morning  after  I  received  your  letter  to  me 
enclosing  one  for  him.  I  mentioned  your  request  and  delivered  your  letter.  He  read  it,  and 
asked  my  opinion,  which  I  gave  him  without  hesitation  in  favor  of  the  measure,  and  he  then 
told  me  that  he  would  give  you  a  formal  permission  to  reside  where  you  now  do  for  a  year,  or 
longer,  if  necessary. 

A  few  days  after  I  waited  on  him  at  his  house  in  town,  but  was  informed  he  had  gone  to 
his  seat  at  the  Falls  of  Schuylkill,  where  he  was  indisposed.  He  remains  still  unwell,  and  has- 
not  been  in  town  since.  I  have  postponed  writing  to  you  hitherto,  until  I  could  enclose  the 
permission  under  the  Governor's  hand,  agreeable  to  the  3d  section  of  the  6th  article  of  the 
Constitution,  but  I  have  not  yet  been  able  to  obtain  it  for  the  cause  assigned.  I  called  on  the 
Secretary,  Alexander  J.  Dallas,  Esq.,  last  night,  as  I  had  often^'done  before,  to  learn  when  the 
Governor  would  be  in  town,  but  he  could  not  inform  me  with  certainty,  tho'  he  told  me  he 
had  nearly  recovered  his  health.  However,  he  told  me  the  Governor  would  certainly  grant 
your  request,  and  that  I  might  assure  you  of  it. 

You  may  rest  perfectly  easy,  for  the  permission  will  be  granted  as  you  desire.  I  am,  sir, 
with  esteem, 

,  Your  most  obedient  servant, 

Thomas  McKean. 
To  John  Kidd,  Esq.,  Prothonotary  nf  Lycoming  County. 

Notwithstanding  the  Chief  Justice  was  so  positive  that  "formal  permission" 
would  be  granted  for  Kidd  to  keep  a  portion  of  his  many  offices  in  another  town — 
or  in  other  words,  divide  the  honors  of  the  county  seat  between  Jaysburg  and 
Williamsport — there  is  nothing,  so  far  as  I  am  aware,  to  show  that  the  Governor  even 
acted  beyond  a  verbal  promise  ;  and  the  uneasiness  shown  in  Kidd's  letter  of  June 
4th  indicates  as  much.  Whilst  the  Governor  undoubtedly  was  inclined  to  favor  the 
Williamsport  faction,  the  Chief  Justice  warmly  sympathized  with  the  Jaysburgers, 
but  the  slowness  of  the  Executive  to  officially  make  good  his  promise  finally  became 
ominous,  and  Prothonotary  Kidd,  with  the  close  of  the  eighteenth  century,  closed 
out  his  business  in  Jaysburg  and  officially  established  all  his  offices  at  the  county 




EsruMEEATioN  OF  Taxables  FOB  1800 — Thezr  Names  asd  Occupations — Ntjmbek,  op  Coloked 
People  in  the  Cotosttt — PoptncATiON  op  Ltcomin©  at  That  Time — Fiest  Teeeitoet 
Taken  feom  the  County — Tioga  Township  Oeganized — Changes  in  Election  Dis- 
tricts— Complete  Rostee  of  County  Officees  feom  the  Beginning  up  to  1891,  Show- 
ing THE  Teaes  They  Seeved — Sketch  of  John  Kidd — Fiest  Coeonees'  Inquests — State 
Senatoes,  Representatives,  and  Mejibees  op  Congeess. 

'~\  TryiTH  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century  the  Assembly  deemed  it  proper 

V  V  to  have  a  careful  enumeration  of  the  taxable  inhabitants  of  Lycoming  county 
made,  and  an  act  to  that  effect  was  passed,  March  7,  1800.  The  requirements  of  the 
law  were  promptly  complied  with  by  Commissioners  Thomas  Forster,  Charles  Stewart, 
and  James  McClure.  The  original  report  for  each  township,  as  made  and  forwarded 
to  the  secretary  of  the  Commonwealth,  was  found  among  the  time- stained  papers  of 
that  department  at  Harrisburg,  and  as  the  names  never  have  been  printed,  they  are 
given  herewith  to  show  who  the  taxables  were  in  the  original  townships  ninety-one 
years  ago.  The  report  of  the  list  of  names  for  each  township  bears  the  autograph 
signature  of  each  commissioner,  but  the  names  of  the  enumerators  are  not  given; 
and  as  the  minute  book  of  the  commissioners  for  1800  is  missing,  they  can  not  be 
obtained.  It  is  likely,  however,  that  the  report  was  made  up  from  the  assess- 
ment lists. 

Muncy  Township. — Edward  Adlum,  Sr. ,  Edward  Adlum,  Jr.,  William  Brown, 
Sr. ,  William  Brown,  Jr.,  Michael  Bower,  Thdmas  Brown,  Abraham  Bennett,  John 
Blair,  Levi  Blair,  Michael  Boyd,  John  Battin,  Sr. ,  Cornelius  Bodine,  John  Bagle, 
Derick  Corson,  Benjamin  Corson,  Frederick  Campbell,  Andrew  Carson,  James  Car- 
son, Sr.,  James  Carson,  Jr.,  Peter  Congle,  John  Corter,  Peter  Corter,  Jr.,  Nathan 
Corter,  Samuel  Carpenter,  Sr. ,  John  Carpenter,  George  Cowel,  Joseph  Carpenter, 
Samuel  Carpenter,  Jr.,  William  Clark,  Peter  Corter,  Sr.,  David  Corter,  Sr.,  Gabriel 
Clark,  Peter  Corson,  Abraham  Corson,  Elijah  Collins,  Sr.,  Elijah  Collins,  Jr.,  Will- 
iam Ellis,  John  Eike,  George  John  Frederick,  Nicholas  Fleare,  William  Flimon, 
Andrew  Flatt,  Griffith  Griifith,  John  Gross,  William  Hannas,  John  Hollingsworth, 
Joseph  Hoglin,  John  Hoglin,  Amos  Hoglin,  Joseph  Hall,  Eichard  Hall,  Sr.,  Richard 
Hall,  Jr.,  Richard  Hall,  Samuel  Hall,  James  Hampton,  Sr. ,  James  Hampton,  Jr., 
William  Herrold,  James  Herold,  William  Hamilton,  William  Henderson,  James 
Hampton,  Robert  Huston,  Peter  Johnston,  Peter  Kimble,  James  Kitely,  Isaac  Kitely, 
Philip  Kenedy,  Samuel  Lundy,  William  Lundy,  John  Lundy,  Richard  Lundy,  Eben- 
ezer  Lundy,  Enos  Lundy,  Henry  Lebo,  Richard  Lo'^^,  Jacob  Low,  Edward  Leonard, 
Jacob  Larrison,  James  Leviston,  Thomas  Lloyd,  Peter  Moon,  John  Moon,  William 


Mitchell,  David  McCausland,  Jr.,  Silas  McCarty,  Philip  Moss,  Kobert  Mears,  Will- 
iam McCausland,  Joseph  Newman,  Thomas  Nunn,  George  Ous,  Samuel  Potts,  Henry 
Parker,  Benjamin  Paxton,  Jonathan  Paston,  Comley  Eandles,  Asa  Randies,  Edward 
Eandles,  Eobert  Robb,  Esq. ,  James  Robb,  John  Robb,  Judith  Rynerson,  Robert  Rook, 
Moses  Rush,  Jonathan  Randies,  Robert  Rooker,  Jacob  Rooker,  John  Rily,  David 
Rily,  William  Rice,  George  Sisler,  Powel  Streaker,  Benjamin  Simpson,  Henry  Scott, 
Joseph  Scott,  Fulard  Sebring,  Henry  Sebring,  John  Sebring,  Jr.,  Heniy  Southard, 
Benoni  Stogal,  John  Streaker,  Christiana  Stugard,  John  Tool,  Moses  Tool,  James 
Tumblinson,  Sr.,  Jeremiah  Tallman,  James  Tumblinson,  Jr.,  Joseph  Tucker,  Ctesar 
Talbert,  Sico  Talbert,  John  Ucle,  Henry  Widowfield,  John  Widowfield,  Mark  Widow- 
field,  Sarah  Wilson,  Francis  Wesley,  Edward  Wallis,  John  Wallis,  Esq.,  Joseph 
White,  Eli  Weston,  John  Webster,  Miles  Wilson,  Benjamin  Warner,  Sr. ,  Joseph 
Warner,  Joseph  Whitacre,  Benjamin  Warner,  Jr.,  Abraham  Webster,  John  Wood- 
row.     Total,  140. 

Nippenose.  — Henry  Antes,  Jr. ,  millwright ;  James  Armstrong,  farmer :  James 
Baird,  farmer;  Martha  Baird,  widow;  George  Crane,  Esq.,  farmer;  William  Clark, 
farmer;  Uriah  Clark,  Sr.,  farmer;  Uriah  Clark,  Jr.,  farmer;  George  Clark,  farmer; 
Thomas  Clark,  laborer;  Jacob  Clark,  carpenter;  Benjamin  Clark,  farmer;  Joseph 
Foulke,  clerk;  Ann  Goodan,  widow;  John  Harden,  laborer;  Robert  Herrod,  sawyer; 
John  Hughes,  farmer;  Jacob  Hughes,  laborer;  John  Hepburn,  farmer;  John  Huff, 
farmer;  William  Huff,  farmer;  David  Herrington,  farmer;  Elizabeth  Hawk,  widow; 
George  Johnston,  weaver;  Henry  Kelly,  laborer;  James  McMicken,  farmer;  James 
McMurray,  farmer;  William  McMurray,  farmer;  John  Macklam,  farmer;  Abraham 
Megahan;  Israel  Pfouts,  laborer;  Martin  Eees,  farmer;  Tobias  Rees,  farmer;  John 
Sheerer,  Sr.,  farmer;  John  Sheerer,  Jr.,  laborer;  Charles  Stewart,  farmer;  Samuel 
Stewart,  farmer;- John  Seyfart,  shoemaker;  John  Shaw,  farmer;  Hugh  Shaw,  farmer; 
Abraham  Updegraff,   farmer;  Samuel  Woodard,   laborer.      Total,  42. 

Lycoming. — John  Allen,  farmer;  James  Allen,  farmer;  Joseph  Arbour,  tailor; 
Isaac  Allen,  farmer;  Nathaniel  Baily,  weaver;  Daniel  Baily,  Jr.,  carpenter;  Israel 
Baily,  carpenter;  John  Barrett,  carpenter;  Robert  Boyd,  carpenter;  Joseph  Backen- 
stoes,  tailor;  Thomas  Brooks,  farmer;  John  Brooks,  farmer;  James  Bennett,  farmer; 
John  Bennett,  innkeeper;  George  Barge,  wheelwright;  Daniel  Baily,  Sr. ,  farmer 
Brattan  Caldwell,  farmer;  James  Caldwell,  farmer;  Henry  Conn,  farmer;  John  Cum 
mings,  sheriff;  Jacob  Cooper,  laborer;  John  Carothers,  farmer;  Henry  Cams, 
farmer;  William  Cams,  farmer;  John  Clendeains,  farmer;  Thomas  Caldwell,  store- 
keeper; James  Chambers,  farmer;  David  Crawford,  farmer;  Daniel  Done,  millwright; 
William  Deshard,  farmer;  Henry  Dougherty,  coroner;  John  Davis,  mason;  John 
Dunlap,  innkeeper;  William  Dugan,  weaver;  William  Dugan,  farmer;  Paul  Dewitt, 
farmer;  William  Farmeer,  farmer;  William  Fosbinder,  farmer;  William  Frazer, 
carpenter;  James  Fargus,  farmer;  John  Fink,  carpenter;  James  Gilchrist,  attorney; 
William  Gillaspy,  carpenter;  Robert  Greenlee,  farmer;  William  Greer,  Esq.;  Philip 
Grover,  farmer;  Lawrence  Gaskins,  farmer;  John  Hughes,  farmer;  Mary  Hughes, 
spinster;  Aaron  Hagerman,  farmer;  James  Hagerman,  farmer;  William  Horton, 
shoemaker;  Marcus  Huling,  smith;  John  Huling,  smith;  John  Hays,  Sr. ,  farmer; 
John  Hays,  Jr.,  farmer;  William  Haro,  weaver;  John  Hetheriugton,  weaver;  William 
Hays,  schoolmaster;  William  Johnston,  smith;    Samuel    Jordan,  hunter;    Ebenezer 

AJuii  ilHurcui/h 


Jackson,  shoemaker;  Matthew  Knap,  mason;  "U'illiam  King,  farmer;  James  Kyle, 
farmer;  John  Kj'le,  farmer;  Robert  Kemplain,  farmer;  Mary  Kemplain,  widow; 
Jacob  Latcha,  farmer;  Catharine  Latcha,  widow;  John  Lanim,  laborer;  Henry  Low- 
miller,  farmer;  Leban  Lander,  farmer;  Patrick  Lusk,  farmer;  John  Moffett,  farmer; 
Marshall  Andrew,  farmer;  William  McMeans,  farmer;  Joseph  McMeans, 
farmer;  William  McMeans,  farmer;  Joseph  Mehaffy,  farmer;  James  Mc- 
Cown,  weaver;  William  Maze,  carpenter;  Morgan  McSweeny,  farmer; 
Mordecai  McSweeny,  farmer;  John  Mitchell,  carpenter;  Edward  Mc- 
Creary,  weaver;  Thomas  Mehaffy,  farmer;  Robert  Mehaffy,  farmer;  James 
Mehaffy,  farmer;  John  Mehaffy;  William  Mehaffy,  farmer;  Robert  Mehaffy, 
farmer;  Robert  Martin,  Sr. ,  Esq.;  Peter  Martin,  miller;  William  Martin,  farmer; 
Robert  Martin,  Jr.,  carpenter;  Francis  McBride,  shoemaker;  Robert  McBride, 
saddler;  John  Perry,  carpenter ;  Joseph  Perry,  farmer;  William  Perhemus,  laborer; 
Joseph  Parker,  farmer:  Nathaniel  Parker,  farmer;  Abraham  Perhemus,  farmer; 
Baltzer  Quiggle;  Francis  Riddles,  farmer;  James  Riddles,  farmer;  Frederick  Row, 
millwright;  James  Reed,  farmer;  Peter  Roach,  farmer;  John  Robinson,  innkeeper; 
John  Roberts,  farmer;  John  Reed,  Sr. ;  John  Reed,  Jr.;  David  Reynolds,  farmer; 
Charles  Reeder,  innkeeper;  James  Stewart,  farmer;  John  Stewart,  tailor;  Matthew 
Stewart,  farmer;  David  Sayeer,  cooper;  John  Shaffer,  Sr.,  tailor;  Joseph  Smith, 
farmer;  Philip  Sips,  farmer;  Archibald  Stewart,  weaver;  Jacob  Shipman,  laborer; 
Israel  Spolden,  farmer;  John  Sloan,  innkeeper;  William  Search,  farmer;  John 
Teeples,  farmer;  Philip  Tharp,  farmer;  George  Thai-p,  farmer;  William  Tharp, 
farmer;  William  Tharp,  farmer;  Daniel  Toner,  farmer;  William  Toner,  farmer; 
Jacob  Teeples,  innkeeper;  Samuel  Torbett,  farmer;  Derrick  Updegraff,  farmer; 
Harman  Updegraff,  farmer;  Martin  Updegraff,  farmer;  Daniel  Updegraff,  farmer; 
Samuel  Updegraff,  farmer;  Peter  Vanauder,  farmer;  Peter  Wychoff,  farmer;  Albert 
Wychoff,  farmer;  Alexander  Wallis,  farmer;  Andrew  Wilson,  smith;  John  Wellever, 
smith;  Elizabeth  Welch,   widow;  Samuel  AVoodard,  shoolmaster.     Total,  151. 

Muncy  Creek. —  Jonathan  Abbott,  joiner;  John  Baker,  farmer;  John  Bevier, 
blacksmith;  John  Burrows,  farmer;  Nicholas  Bevier,  farmer;  Adam  Bevier,  farmer; 
William  Baily,  weaver;  Daniel  Buck,  farmer;  John  Bogart,  farmer;  Stephen  Bell, 
millwright;  John  Betts,  farmer;  William  Barklow,  weaver;  Barnett  Barklow,  farmer; 
Henry  Back,  carpenter;  Catharine  Buck,  widow;  Cornelius  Bartlow,  shoemaker; 
Richard  Bartlow,  farmer;  Cornelius  Bartlow,  farmer;  Andrew  Black,  farmer;  Henry 
Brees,  laborer;  Reuben  Beel,  farmer;  Joseph  Craft,  shoemaker;  William  Craft,  shoe- 
maker; William  Craft,  farmer;  John  Craft,  farmer;  Zoth  Craft,  laborer;  Sylvester 
Colbourn,  farmer;  Martin  Conrode,  farmer;  John  Colbourn,  farmer;  George  Doctor, 
farmer;  Henry  Doctor,  farmer;  Godfrey  Doctor;  John  Hays,  innkeeper;  William 
Hunt,  farmer;  Absalom  Hunt,  farmer;  William  Howell,  farmer;  Jonas  Hamilton, 
farmer;  John  Huskmick,  farmer;  Frederick  Hill,  farmer;  Moses  Hall,  blacksmith; 
Daniel  Hill,  mason;  Robert  Kirkbright,  laborer;  Frederick  Koch,  farmer;  Thomas 
Lobdell,  farmer;  John  Low,  weaver;  Elias  Long,  farmer;  William  Long,  potter; 
Joseph  Leatchet,  farmer;  Jacob  Lutz,  farmer;  Frederick  Miller,  laborer;  Thomas 
McCarty;  Joel  McCarty,  shoemaker;  William  MoCarty,  farmer;  Benjamin  McCarty, 
mason;  Jacob  Merl,  innkeeper;  Samuel  McCarty,  blacksmith;  Arthur  Moore,  farmer; 
Samuel  Morris,  farmer;  William  McKelvey,  tailor;  Isaac  McCarty,  laborer:  Philip 


Off,  farmer;  Henry  Peffer,  laborer;  James  Paxton,  farmer;  George  Pouch,  farmer; 
Samuel  Parker,  shoemaker;  Christopher  Poats,  farmer;  David  Prahl,  farmer;  Her- 
man Poats,  laborer;  Stacy  Paxton,  weaver;  Arthur  Quinn,  weaver;  Jerusha  Robb, 
widow;  William  Rush,  Sr.,  miller;  William  Rush,  Jr.,  cooper;  Joseph  Roberts, 
weaver;  John  Rush,  mason;  John  Raan,  farmer;  Charles  Roberts,  stiller;  Richard 
Rose,  laborer;  George  Smith,  Sr.,  miller;  Jonathan  Smith,  farmer;  George  Smith, 
Jr.,  farmer;  Charles  Smith,  laborer;  John  Smith,  farmer;  Peter  Sones,  farmer; 
Joseph  Swyne,  farmer;  Baltzer  Stake,  farmer;  Jacob  Shipman,  farmer;  Peter  Slight, 
laborer;  Israel  Sanders,  laborer;  Henry  Shoemaker,  Esq.,  farmer;  Jacob  Snyder, 
farmer;  Benjamin  Shoemaker,  farmer;  Barbara  Shoemaker,  widow;  George  Shoe- 
maker, farmer;  Jacob  Stump,  farmer;  Jesse  Shamp,  farmer;  Daniel  Smith,  farmer; 
Jacob  Shoemaker,  miller;  John  Terry,  laborer;  Robert  Turner,  farmer;  James 
Torbett,  joiner;  James  Turner,  hatter;  Samuel  Tolbert,  laborer;  Asa  Tolbert,  la- 
borer; William  Tolbert,  laborer;  John  "Did,  blacksmith;  James  Walton,  farmer; 
James  Walton,  Jr.,  farmer;  Rachel  Walton,  widow;  Isaac  Walton,  miller;  David 
Walton,  farmer;  George  AVebb,  farmer;  Ephraim  Wotman,  tailor;  Jesse  AVisner, 
weaver;  Benjamin  Wisner,  farmer;  John  Wisner,  weaver;  William  Watson,  school- 
master; James  Walton,  miller;  William  Walton,  farmer.     Total,  163. 

Mifflin. — Abraham  Armstrong,  saddler,  37;  John  Archer,  farmer,  33;  Matthew 
Adams,  carpenter,  89;  John  Armstrong,  farmer,  78;  Matthew  Armstrong,  farmer, 
29;  Christopher  Bowers,  laborer,  44;  Claudius  Boatman,  farmer,  87;  Isaac  Bodine, 
carpenter,  25;  Frederick  Bodine,  carpenter,  34;  William  Bert,  farmer,  23;  John 
Baily,  farmer,  48;  James  Boal,  farmer,  39;  Robert  Crawford,  farmer,  60;  John 
Crawford,  farmer,  26;  Sampson  Crawford,  farmer,  38;  Jacob  Casper,  farmer,  51', 
William  Grossman,  farmer,  43;  Patrick  Campbell,  shoemaker,  29;  Samuel  Camp- 
bell, Sr.,  farmer,  60;  Robert  Campbell,  farmer,  43;  Andrew  Coover,  farmer,  51; 
Daniel  Calaghar,  farmer,  61;  Cornelius  Cole,  farmer,  41;  John  Coal,  farmer,  88; 
Joseph  Coal,  farmer,  27;  William  Carrell,  farmer,  43;  William  Carrell,  laborer,  86; 
Robert  Covenhoven,  farmer,  45;  Joseph  Corns,  farmer,  37;  James  Davidson,  doc- 
tor, 48;  Robert  Duncan,  weaver,  24;  Charles  Duncan,  weaver,  83;  James  Duffy, 
farmer,  22;  Terrence  Duffy,  turner,  51;  Hawkins  De  Prance,  farmer,  25;  James 
English,  farmer,  55;  John  English,  farmer,  47;  Thomas  Edmond,  farmer,  38;  Will- 
iam Eager,  farmer,  70;  Samuel  Eason,  farmer,  30;  Thomas  Forster,  farmer;  John 
Forster,  farmer;  Manning  Forster,  farmer,  23;  Thomas  Forster,  Jr.,  farmer;  Sam- 
uel Fields,  farmer,  46;  Rev.  Isaac  Grier,  minister,  38;  Nathan  Geen,  laborer,  46; 
John  Homier,  laborer,  25;  Alexander  Hedleson,  laborer,  39;  William  Hopkins, 
laborer,  49;  John  King,  farmer,  51;  Robert  King,  farmer,  43;  Adam  King,  farmer, 
45;  Jacob  Kissle,  laborer,  65;  Frederick  Kissle,  laborer,  22;  John  Knox,  mill- 
wright, 28;  Benjamin  Lenover,  blacksmith,  30;  John  Laurens,  carpenter,  34; 
Andrew  Long,  60;  John  Mills,  laborer,  37;  Isaac  McCall,  laborer,  25;  Richard 
Manning,  farmer,  72;  Reuben  Manning,  farmer,  69;  Samuel  Manning,  farmer,  33; 
Reuben  Manning,  Jr.,  farmer,  35;  Jacob  Miller,  laborer,  47;  William  Miller,, 
laborer,  21;  Gabriel  Morrison,  innkeeper,  28;  Ellis  Martin,  farmer,  30;  Thomas 
Martin,  farmer,  43:  Richard  Martin,  farmer,  40;  James  McClure,  farmer,  46;  John 
Murphy,  clockmaker,  58;  Matthew  Marshall,  farmer,  35;  John  Martin,  weaver,  40; 
John  Mathers,  farmer,  31;  Samuel  Morrison,  farmer,    100;  Thomas  Nichols,    farm- 


er;  William  Nichols,  farmer,  22;  Lewis  Osterlander,  farmer,  33;  Isaac  Porter, 
farmer.  40;  William  Porter,  farmer,  51;  Mary  Kobison,  widow,  farmer;  John  Ram- 
sey, farmer;  Robert  Robinson,  farmer,  21;  Michael  Shet,  mason,  23;  Leonard 
Smith,  shoemaker,  51;  George  Snyder,  clockmaker,  32;  John  Snyder,  laborer,  40; 
James  Smith,  farmer,  46;  Edward  Smith,  farmer,  21;  Richard  Salmon,  blacksmith, 
30;  Isaac  Smith,  farmer,  38;  Salmon  Cutler,  farmer,  21;  Robert  Smith,  farmer, 
30;  John  Stout,  farmer,  45;  Robert  Stevenson,  farmer,  32;  James  Stevenson,  farm- 
er, 40;  William  Stevenson,  farmer,  46;  Patrick  Smith,  tailor,  30;  William  S warts, 
farmer,  50;  John  Tomb,  farmer,  23;  Jacob  Tomb,  farmer,  49;  John  Thomas,  black- 
smith, 23;  Jesse  Thomas,  blacksmith,  23:  Henry  Thomas,  farmer,  53;  George 
Thomas,  farmer,  22;  David  Torbett,  weaver,  46;  James  Torbett,  weaver,  87;  Thomas 
Todd,  farmer,  46;  Comfort  Wandser,  farmer,  46:  Matthew  Wilson,  farmer,  38; 
Isaac  Wilson,  weaver,  41.     Total,  121. 

Washington. — John  Aj)ker,  farmer;  James  Backhouse,  farmer;  Timothy  Black, 
farmer;  Peter  Bennett,  tailor;  James  Butler,  farmer;  Charles  Bryan,  farmer;  Isaac 
Bare,  farmer;  Isaac  Bare,  Jr.,  farmer;  Edward  Beach,  schoolmaster;  John  Covert, 
farmer;  John  Crawford,  farmer;  John  Coats,  farmer:  William  Cochran,  farmer; 
George  Chapman,  farmer;  John  Coalman,  farmer;  Archibald  Coalman,  farmer; 
John  Coalman,  Jr.,  farmer:  Hugh  Coalman,  farmer;  Robert  Coalman,  miller;  John 
Culbertson,  farmer ;  John  Cochran,  farmer;  Peter  Dougherty,  cooper;  Jacob  Drake, 
farmer;  Levy  Done,  farmer;  Titus  Done,  weaver;  Hemy  Dougherty,  ferryman; 
Robert  Eason,  farmer;  John  Eason,  farmer;  David  Eason,  farmer;  John  Frisilear, 
basketmaker;  Stephen  Fields,  farmer;  Robert  Forsman,  farmer;  Hugh  Gaston, 
farmer;  James  Hill,  cordwinder;  Moses  Hood,  farmer;  Samuel  Hastings,  laborer; 
John  Huling,  farmer;  Samuel  Heylmin,  farmer;  William  Hazlet,  laborer; 
Thomas  Huling,  farmer;  Leonard  Heylman,  farmer;  Joseph  King,  weaver;  David 
Kimy,  farmer;  John  Smith  Kunns,  farmer;  John  Lawson,  farmer;  George  Lawson, 
farmer;  Joseph  Lawson,  farmer;  George  Landsisker,  laborer ;  Conrad  Miller, 
farmer;  Elisha  McFarland,  farmer;  Thomas  McGuire,  farmer;  William  McFagen, 
cooper;  Michael  Minegar,  farmer;  Lawrence  Minegar,  farmer;  Andrew  Miller, 
farmer;  John  McNight,  laborer;  John  Nelson,  mason;  Isaac  Nelson,  farmer; 
Andrew  Overturf,  laborer;  John  Polhemus,  farmer;  John  Pratt,  farmer;  George 
Porter,  farmer;  Galbreath  Patterson,  farmer;  Emanuel  Pidcock,  farmer;  John  Pol- 
hemus, Jr.,  farmer;  James  Patterson,  farmer;  Benjamin  Pidcock,  farmer;  Moses 
Pidcock,  cordwinder;  Edward  Pidcock,  laborer;  Barnett  Rynerson,  farmer;  Daniel 
Sunderland,  farmer;  Peter  Smith,  laborer;  George  Sherer,  laborer;  Joseph  Sun- 
derland, laborer;  Jacob  Smith,  laborer;  William  Schooley,  schoolmaster;  John 
Sedam,  farmer;  Jacob  Shafer,  laborer;  William  Story,  carpenter;  Ralph  Smith, 
farmer;  Philip  Swisher,  farmer;  Abraham  Swisher,  farmer;  George  Shafer,  farmer; 
Henry  Sheeler,  cordwinder;  Jacob  Smith,  weaver;  Jacob  Smith,  old  man;  George 
Sharpe,  laborer;  John  Smith,  laborer;  John  Tate,  farmer;  John  Timbrook,  farmer; 
William  Tireman,  farmer;  Conrad  Timbrook,  smith ;  Jacob  Timbrook,  farmer;  Cor- 
nelius Vanfleet,  farmer;  Frederick  Vanlever,  farmer;  Jesse  Weeks,  farmer;  David 
Woodsides,  blacksmith;  Daniel  Wheeler,  miller;  William  Watson,  stiller:  Godlip 
Yagar,  farmer;  Jacob  Young,  farmer. 

Females. — Mary  Apker,  Katy  Apner,  Jean  Backhouse,  Clara  Black,  Elizabeth  Ben- 


nett,  Mary  Butler,  Katy  Bryan,  Christiana  Bare,  Elizabeth  Bare,  Ann  Covert,  Elizabeth 
Crawford,  Jane  Cochran,  Mary  Chapman,  Mary  Coalman,  Christiana  Coalman,  Jennett 
Culbertson,  Mary  Doug;herty,  Elizabeth  Drake,  Sarah  Done,  Hannah  Done,  Sarah 
Dougherty,  Ann  Eason,  Sarah  Frizileer,  Eachel  Shields,  Katy  Foreman,  Grace  Gas- 
ton, Mary  Hill,  Rachel  Hood,  Mary  Hastings,  Sarah  Huling,  Elizabeth  Heylmeen, 
Lucy  King,  Margaret  Kimey,  Margaret  Lawson,  Katy  Miller,  Katy  McFarland, 
Isabella  McGuire,  Eliza  McFagen,  Elizabeth  Minegar,  Mary  Minegar,  Ibby  Nelson, 
Jane  Nelson,  Elizabeth  Overturf,  Margaret  O'Nail,  Susannah  Polhemus,  Elizabeth 
Piatt,  Ann  Porter,  Katy  Patterson,  Elizabeth  Pidcock,  Mary  Rynerson,  Cassie  Sunder- 
land, Susannah  Smith,  Sallie  Sheerer,  Elizabeth  Sunderland,  Ann  Smith,  Elizabeth 
Schooly,  Sarah  Sedam,  Lucy  Shafer,  Jane  Story,  Charity  Smith,  Mary  Swisher, 
Jane  Swisher,  Susannah  Shafer,  Elizabeth  Shuler,  Elizabeth  Smith,  Eve  Smith, 
Katy  Snyder,  Anna  Smith,  Fanny  Tate,  Hannah  Timbrook,  Ann  Tireman,  Rachel 
Tate,  Sarah  Vanfleet,  Sarah  Vanlever,  Mary  Weeks,  Mary  Woodsides,  Katy  Wheeler, 
Elizabeth  Yagar,  Barbara  Young.      Total,  180. 

Pine  Creek. — Joseph  Barnett,  farmer;  Arthur  Bell,  farmer;  Lewis  Beam, 
breeches  maker;  Thomas  Bums,  laborer;  William  Berryhill,  distiller;  James 
Barnett,  clerk;  Elsie  Boyd,  widow;  John  Baaker,  farmer;  William  Baird,  farmer; 
Benjamin  Baird,  farmer;  Zebulon  Baird,  farmer;  William  Black,  laborer;  Benjamin 
Brucks,  farmer;  John  Ban,  farmer;  Robert  Bridgens,  farmer;  John  Baker,  farmer; 
John  Bairfield,  laborer;  Johnston  Buckly,  farmer;  James  Boatman,  hunter;  John 
Carson,  farmer;  Samuel  Carson,  laborer;  William  Custard,  blacksmith;  William 
Clark,  laborer;  James  Crawford;  John  Chatham,  farmer;  William  Chatham,  miller; 
Benjamin  Crane,  laborer;  William  Crider,  laborer;  Philip  Crider,  laborer;  John 
Cully;  Robert  Campbell,  farmer;  William  Dunn,  Sr. ,  farmer;  William  Dunn,  Jr., 
farmer;  James  Dunn,  farmer;  John  Dunn,  farmer;  Richard  Dunn,  farmer;  Stephen 
Duncan,  merchant;  John  Dougherty,  farmer;  Abraham  Evans,  laborer;  William 
Flide,  laborer;  William  Fargus,  Sr. ;  Francis  Fargus,  merchant;  Hugh  Frazer, 
laborer;  Lemuel  Farewell,  farmer;  William  Fargus,  Jr.;  Cornelius  Gardner, 
farmer;  Samuel  Grimes,  laborer;  Daniel  Guinn;  David  Goodfellow,  farmer; 
William  Galagher,  farmer;  John  Grier,  laborer;  John  Gamble,  farmer;  Daniel 
Gamble,  laborer;  Mary  Gamble,  widow;  Peter  Grove,  hunter;  David  Hanna,  farmer; 
John  Hanna,  farmer;  James  Hanna,  farmer;  Solomon  Houseworth,  blacksmith; 
Frederick  Hill,  shoemaker;  George  Henderson,  laborer;  Robert  Hamilton,  farmer; 
George  Hunter,  laborer;  Nancy  Hare,  widow;  Jacob  Hamersly,  laborer;  Rice 
Hainlin,  sawyer;  James  Irwin,  farmer;  Isaac  Jones,  farmer;  John  Jordan,  farmer; 
John  Jackson,  farmer;  William  Jackson,  farmer;  Andrew  Karr,  farmer;  Francis 
King,  agent;  Moses  Knapp,  laborer;  Jonathan  Knight,  farmer;  John  Knox, 
miller;  James  Kooken,  farmer,  William  Kooken,  farmer;  Frederick  Kisel,  laborer; 
Joshua  Knapp,  laborer;  George  Long,  farmer;  Zaccheus  Lea,  Sr.,  weaver;  P. 
Zacheus  Lea,  farmer;  William  Morrison,  innkeeper;  Edward  Masters,  farmer; 
William  Mitchell,  farmer;  Martin  Moyers,  farmer;  Ebenezer  Masters,  laborer; 
James  Mc Adams,  laborer ;  Barnabas  McCann,  laborer;  William  Montgomery,  farmer; 
John  Montgomery,  farmer;  James  McFadden,  farmer;  Philip  Moyers,  farmer; 
Samuel  McFadden,  farmer;  Adam  McFadden,  farmer;  James  Mills,  farmer; 
Margaret  Maughan,  widow;    Abraham  Megahan,   laborer;  John  Montgomery,  Sr., 


farmer;  Jacob  Moyers,  Sr. ,  farmer;  John  Moyers,  farmer;  Jacob  Meyers,  Jr., 
farmer;  Patrick  McLeamy,  laborer;  John  McKinny,  innkeeper;  William  Mann, 
weaver;  Thomas  Picket,  laborer;  Francis  Proctor,  farmer;  Peter  Poorman,  shoe- 
maker; Mary  Pisel,  widow;  John  Price,  farmer;  James  Porter,  farmer;  Barnabas 
Parsons,  laborer;  Michael  Quigley,  farmer;  Frederick  Eichards,  farmer;  William 
Eeed,  millwright;  Thomas  Reed,  farmer;  Ephraim  Eeed,  farmer;  James  Eeed, 
farmer;  John  Eeed,  constable;  Thomas  Eamsey,  Jr.,  farmer;  Thomas  Eamsey,  Sr., 
farmer;  William  Eamsey,  farmer;  Eobert  Eamsey,  farmer;  Edward  T.  Eorke, 
schoolmaster;  Samuel  Simnons,  farmer;  Eobert  Strain,  farmer;  John  Scott,  Sr., 
farmer;  Eobert  Steele,  laborer;  Peter  Shaw,  schoolmaster;  Amos  Sturgis,  farmer; 
Thomas  Sturgis,  farmer;  Frederick  Shaffer,  tailor;  Thomas  Seemers,  farmer; 
George  Saltsman,  farmer;  John  Scott,  Jr.,  laborer;  Samuel  Scott,  millwright^ 
Edward  Sheteto,  millwright;  John  Starling,  laborer;  James  Smith,  farmer;  Hugh 
White,  farmer;  William  White,  farmer;  Chesney  White,  farmer;  James  Webb, 
laborer;  Adam  Walker,  laborer;  John  White,  tailor;  William  Wilson,  farmer; 
Martin  Wilson,  farmer;  William  Woodard,  constable;  Eobert  Wilson,  farmer;  Jared 
W^elch,  farmer;  Francis  Yontz,  farmer;  Christian  Zimmerman,  chairmaker.  Total, 

Loyalsock. — John  Allward,  laborer,  45,  Priscilla,  his  wife,  52;  Joseph  Allward, 
laborer,  21;  Thomas  Alexander,  carpenter,  23;  Powel  Burd,  farmer,  50,  Lydia,  his 
wife,  30;  John  Brown,  farmer,  25;  Danforth  Boen,  farmer,  44,  Mary,  his  wife,  30; 
Daniel  Baily,  farmer,  67,  Ann,  his  wife,  54;  Caleb  Baily,  farmer,  41,  Elizabeth, 
his  wife,  36;  Daniel  Baily,  mason,  35,  Patience,  his  wife,  30;  William  Benjamin, 
farmer,  32,  Nancy,  his  wife,  36;  William  Biss,  mason,  60,  May,  his  wife,  35; 
John  Calvert,  44,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  27;  Ebenezer  Cooke,  innkeeper,  37,  Elizabeth, 
his  wife,  28;  William  Colbert,  farmer,  23;  John  Cevil,  carpenter,  50,  Purmillia,  his 
wife,  48;  William  Dale,  farmer,  40,  Ann,  his  wife,  32;  John  Done,  farmer,  65, 
Phebe,  his  wife,  61;  Henry  Donnel,  Esq.,  deputy  surveyor,  30,  Margaret,  his 
wife,  23;  Christian  Eagle,  laborer,  50;  John  Eldridge,  tailor,  21;  Matthias  Eder, 
farmer,  46,  Mary,  his  wife,  44;  James  Eeroyd,  farmer,  30,  Martha,  his  wife,  25; 
Thomas  Emmons,  carpenter,  28,  Agnes,  his  wife,  28;  Jonathan  Frisby,  farmer, 
28;  William  Fleming,  distiller,  26;  John  Gooldy,  farmer,  43,  Mary,  his  wife, 
36;  Eobert  Gray,  carpenter,  23;  Jacob  Graff es,  distiller,  33,  Catharine,  his  wife, 
26;  William  Gildea,  farmer,  35,  Mary,  his  wife,  30;  Samuel  E.  Grier,  merchant, 
38,  Jean,  his  wife,  20;  Christopher  Geffres,  farmer,  39,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  30; 
John  Hill,  farmer,  44,  Mary,  his  wife,  35;  James  Henderson,  farmer,  30,  Ee- 
becca,  his  wife,  28;  John  Hays,  farmer,  34,  Ann,  his  wife,  32;  Eoland  Hall, 
farmer,  35,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  30;  John  Hall,  farmer,  51,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  30; 
Samuel  Hall,  carpenter,  44,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  33;  Daniel  Holdren,  farmer,  50, 
Hannah,  his  wife,  52;  James  Hagerman,  laborer,  50,  Christiana,  his  wife,  49; 
Edmund  Hoff,  farmer,  53,  Nancy,  his  wife,  51;  Elizabeth  Hoff,  30;  Hannah  Hoff, 
28;  William  Hepburn,  Esq.,  farmer,  46;  Mordecai  Hylnnen,  22;  Charles  Huston, 
attorney,  27;  Thomas  Huston,  innkeeper,  60,  Jean,  his  wife,  52;  Eebecca  Heston, 
innkeeper,  37;  Jacob  Hymon,  carpenter,  30,  Sarah,  his  wife,  24;  John  W.  Hunter, 
Esq.,  attorney,  26,  Margaret,  his  wife,  24;  John  Highlands,  weaver,  32;  Thomas 
Highlands,  farmer,  29,  Mary,  his  wife,  25;  Thomas  Harris,  farmer,    23;  Benjamin 


Harris,  farmer,  25;  George  Harris,  carpenter,  29;  Samuel  Harris,  Esq.,  farmer, 
45,  Cassandra,  his  wife,  48;  Jonathan  Hartly,  farmer,  40;  Sarah  Hookel,  widow,  44; 
Elias  Harkins,  shoemaker,  26;  Nancy  Harris,  32;  Elizabeth  Harkins,  24;  Sarah 
Harris,  21;  Eobert  Jobe,  farmer,  22;  Edward  Jones,  farmer,  28,  Maiy,  his  wife, 
25;  Phebe  Jones,  widow,  36;  John  Kester,  farmer,  21;  George  Keness,  laborer, 
45,  Christiana,  his  wife,  30;  John  Kidd,  Esq.,  prothonotary,  80;  William  K.  Lathe, 
doctor,  29,  Maiy,  his  wife,  28;  Eebecca  Lee,  widow,  36;  WiUiam  Landen,  farmer, 
60,  Catharine,  his  wife,  34;  John  Livergood,  brickmaker,  24;  Isaac  Lyon,  shoe- 
maker, 34,  Nancy,  his  wife,  24;  Uriah  Loper,  farmer,  34,  Catharine,  his  wife,  26; 
Ephraim  Lundy,  farmer,  49,  Hannah,  his  wife,  39;  William  MiUinos,  farmer,  38; 
Isaac  Masters,  farmer,  25;  Peter  Marshall,  farmer,  57,  Hannah,  his  wife,  53;  Will- 
iam Murray,  farmer,  49,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  39;  William  Mucklen,  farmer,  30, 
Ann,  his  wife,  29;  William  McKee,  cooper,  36;  Macklin  Gussel,  66;  John  McAd- 
ams,  farmer,  30,  Catharine,  his  wife,  30;  Eobert  McClure,  attorney,  26;  William 
McCaslin,  laborer,  24;  David  McCaslin,  laborer,  21;  Eobert  McElrath,  hatter,  34, 
Barbara,  his  wife,  27;  John  Mooie,  innkeeper,  44,  Jean,  his  wife,  38;  Daniel  Mc- 
Kinney,  laborer,  32;  James  Mustard,  farmer,  23;  Daniel  Marres,  farmer,  37,  Deb- 
orah, his  wife,  35;  Brice  McKinney,  farmer,  57,  Hannah,  his  wife,  33;  John 
Nees,  farmer,  30,  May,  his  wife,  30;  Jacob  Nees,  farmer,  21;  Charles  O'Brian, 
schoolmaster,  25;  Peter  Place,  blacksmith,  86;  Nancy  Perval,  18;  Joseph  Person, 
farmer,  21;  Nathaniel  Person,  farmer,  48,  Ann,  his  wife,  52;  PhUlip  Pence,  mill- 
wright, 25,  Lydia,  his  wife,  24;  Margaret  Eosse,  widow,  85;  James  EusseU,  inn- 
keeper, 42,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  36;  Michael  Eoss,  farmer,  42,  Ann,  his  wife,  36; 
John  Eose,  farmer,  26,  Eachel,  his  wife,  21;  James  Eothroek,  hatter,  21;  Amariah 
Eothmel,  farmer,  39,  Mary,  his  wife,  38;  John  Roberts,  farmer,  30,  Catharine,  his 
wife,  26;  Samuel  Eeed,  farmer,  40,  Mary,  his  wife,  32;  George  Sinclear,  basket- 
maker,  45,  Eunice,  his  wife,  43;  Isaac  Swain,  farmer,  40,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  38; 
John  Sebring,  farmer,  30,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  26;  Benjamin  Strawbridge,  farmer, 
23;  Thomas  Sebring,  farmer,  55;  Jean  Smith,  widow,  65;  Thomas  Smith,  farmer, 
34,  Jemima,  his  wife,  25;  Amariah  Sutton,  farmer,  70;  Hannah  Sutton,  widow,  38; 
Alexander  Smith,  farmer,  30,  Eebecca,  his  ■wife,  30;  Stephen  Smith,  watchmaker, 
34;  Moses  Starr,  farmer,  42,  Martha,  his  wife,  34;  John  Smith,  farmer,  30;  Joseph 
Sample,  farmer,  25;  John  Sheppard,  farmer,  50,  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  30;  Adam 
Todd,  weaver,  30;  William  Tharp,  farmer,  23;  John  Tharp,  farmer,  25,  Mary,  his 
wife,  21;  Andrew  Tulloh,  26;  Daniel  Tallman,  farmer,  49,  Deborah,  his  wife,  51; 
Ann  Tallman,  24;  Jeremiah  Tallman,  shoemaker,  21,  Eachel,  his  wife,  20;  Richard 
Titus,  laborer,  30,  Ann,  his  wife,  29;  James  Thompson,  farmer,  49,  Catharine,  his 
wife,  43;  Benjamin  Thompson,  farmer,  45,  Deborah,  his  wife,  45;  Isaiah  Thomp- 
son, faiTQer,  35,  Mary,  his  wife,  22;  Henry  Thompson,  farmer,  79,  Snsan,  his  wife, 
67;  William  Talbert,  farmer,  22;  Thomas  Updegrove,  farmer,  23,  Elizabeth,  his 
wife,  21;  John  Updegrove,  hatter,  29;  Peter  Vanderbelt,  blacksmith,  42,  Mary,  his 
wife,  36;  Abraham  Vanhorn,  doctor,  52,  Eve,  his  wife,  49;  Sophia  Vanhorn,  widow, 
23;  Cornelius  Vanhorn,  farmer,  28,  Leonora,  his  wife,  21;  William  Yanhom,  farmer, 
43,  Hannah,  his  wife,  42;  John  Wai'ren,  farmer,  35,  Mary,  his  wife,  30;  Eleanor 
Winters,  widow,  51;  John  Winters,  farmer,  32;  Sarah  Winters,  23;  Mary  Winters, 
21;  Moses  Wilson,  farmer,  50,  Ann,  his  wife,    52;  Elihu  Wilson,   farmer,   32,   Mar- 


garet,  his  wife,  28;  Jonathan  Wilson,  farmer,  60,  Abigail,  his  wife,  50;  George 
Webb,  farmer,  49,  Hannah,  his  wife,  39;  Joseph  Williams,  farmer,  29,  Letitia,  his 
wife,  24;  John  Wilson,  farmer,  52;  Ezra  Wilson,  farmer,  21;  Ellis  Walton,  attorney, 
29,  Jean,  his  wife,  25.     Total,  149. 

Wayne. — Henry  Antes,  carpenter,  63;  William  Antes,  carpenter,  23;  Jacob 
Antes,  carpenter,  21;  Samuel  Anesly,  schoolmaster,  38;  Abraham  Andrews,  weaver 
52;  Philip  Barnhart,  weaver,  39;  Thomas  Carts,  stiller,  39;  Francis  Clark,  farmer, 
50;  John  Clark,  farmer,  52;  Thomas  Clark,  shoemaker,  47 ;  Robert  Crawford,  farmer, 
31 ;  Samuel  Clark,  laborer,  45 ;  Samuel  Capler,  miller,  46 ;  Henry  Ellis,  weaver,  49 ;  Huff 
Gashan,  basketmaker,  75;  Benjamin  Ganzey,  farmer,  25;  Joseph  Hoake,  weaver,  30; 
Baltzer  Havner,  saddler,  44;  Benjamin  Huff,  shoemaker,  51;  Nicholas  Jones,  school- 
master, 68;  John  Kennedy,  farmer,  43;  Robert  Love,  carpenter,  67;  Samuel  Love^ 
farmer,  30;  Robert  Montgomery,  farmer,  60;  Joseph  Montgomery,  farmer,  25;  Charle  s 
McElhenny,  weaver,  50;  George  Myers,  shoemaker,  28;  Peter  Pence,  farmer,  68  •, 
James  Patersou,  farmer,  42;  John  Quigley,  farmer,  36;  Michael  Quigley,  farmer,  60; 
George  Quigley,  Sr. ,  farmer,  30;  Philip  Quigley,  weaver,  50;  George  Quigley,  Jr., 
weaver,  25;  John  Ralston,  weaver,  43;  Sebastian  Shade,  miller,  48;  George  Strong, 
shoemaker,  32;  Hugh  Shaw,  farmer,  31;  John  Shaw,  farmer,  22;  John  Shepherd 
laborer,  29;  Francis  Strong,  laborer,  30;  James  Stone,  stiller,  50;  David  Shaw,  45; 
John  Williams,  laborer,  72;  George  Williams,  tailor,  30;  William  Windland, 
farmer,  23;  William  Williams,  carpenter,  35.  Total  males,  47.  The  names  of  the 
females,  with  their  ages,  are  given  on  the  same  sheet  as  follows:  Jennie  Anesly, 
40;  Anna  Andrews,  34;  Elizabeth  Barnhart,  32;  Sarah  Curts,  32;  Barbara  Clark, 
50;  Mary  Clark,  52;  Sarah  Clark,  21;  Elizabeth  Crawford,  28;  Elizabeth  Clark,  31; 
Susannah  Capler,  35;  Christiana  Clark,  22;  Margaret  Ellis,  49;  Elizabeth  Hoake, 
26;  Phebe  Havner,  40;  Mary  Huff,  50;  Mary  Jones,  60;  Mary  Kennedy,  42;  Jenny 
Love,  65;  Nancy  Montgomery,  50;  Sarah  McCafferty,  30;  Betty  McElhenny,  40; 
Mary  Myers,  27;  Mary  McClure,  70;  Mary  Pence,  50;  Elizabeth  Peterson,  34; 
Elizabeth  Philips,  26;  Mary  Quigley,  30;  Fanny  Quigley,  56;  Elizabeth  Quigley 
39;  Anna  Quigley,  58;  Mary  Ralston,  34;  Dolby  Simonson,  50;  Mary  Strong,  23; 
Patty  Shaw,  28;  Rebecca  Shaw,  Sr.,  55;  Mary  Shepherd,  28;  Jenny  Strong,  27; 
Jennie  Stone,  40;  Rebecca  Shaw,  Jr.,  30;  Elizabeth  Williams,  62;  Mary  Williams, 
27;  Susannah  Windland,  22;   Margaret  Williams,  34.     Total,  43. 

Loiver  Bald  Eagle. — Matthew  Allison,  farmer;  John  Armstrong,  farmer;  Charles 
Bennett,  farmer;  John  Beans,  farmer;  Samviel  Bodle,  weaver;  James  Brown,  farmer; 
John  Brownlee,  farmer;  Widow  Barnhill,  farmer;  James  Boyd,  farmer;  John  Bott, 
farmer;  Robert  Black,  farmer;  Francis  Boyce,  blacksmith;  Robert  Boale,  farmer; 
James  Burney,  farmer;  James  Burns,  farmer;  James  Carskaddon,  farmer;  James 
Curry,  farmer;  Griffith  Carr,  farmer;  Samuel  Carpenter;  Matthew  Crunk,  farmer; 
Cleary  Campbell,  schoolmaster;  Mark  Caldwell,  farmer;  George  Carr,  farmer;  Will- 
iam Duffield,  farmer;  Branson  Davis,  farmer;  Joshua  Davis,  farmer;  Leonard  Doctor, 
farmer ;  Moses  Dickey,  farmer ;  John  Dougherty,  farmer ;  Daniel  Davids ;  John  Fleming, 
Esq. ;  James  Foster,  farmer;  John  Ferron,  farmer;  Thomas  Fullerton,  weaver;  Enos 
Finch,  shoemaker;  Matthew  Findley,  distiller;  Joel  Free,  farmer;  Stophel  Firsht, 
farmer;  James  Gamble,  farmer;  Henry  Gundy,  farmer;  Thomas  Goodfellow,  farmer; 
James  Hemphill,  farmer;  John  Hazlet,  farmer;  Joseph  Hunt,  Sr.,  farmer;  Joseph 


Hunt,  Jr.,  farmer;  Jesse  Hunt,  farmer;  Kobert  Hays,  farmer:  Eichard  Hays,  school- 
master; James  Hays,  farmer;  AVilliam  Hays,  farmer;  William  Hunt,  farmer;  James 
Hindman,  farmer;  Widow  Johnston,  farmer;  Joseph  Johnston,  farmer;  James 
Laughery,  farmer;  Richard  Limber,  blacksmith;  Adam  Longe,  farmer;  Mungo 
Lindsey,  farmer;  Jacob  Long,  farmer;  Matthew  Leech,  farmer;  Alexander  Lindsay, 
schoolmaster;  David  Lusk,  farmer;  John  Laughery,  farmer;  William  Martin, 
merchant;  William  Miller,  farmer;  Thomas  Martin,  farmer;  John  Miller,  weaver; 
Joseph  McCloskey,  farmer;  Patrick  Mullin,  farmer;  Joseph  Mackey,  carpenter; 
John  McCormick,  farmer;  Alexander  Maughan,  farmer;  John  McLaughlin,  farmer; 
Alexander  Monson,  wheelwright;  Jacob  Moats,  farmer;  William  Murray,  tailor; 
Joseph  McKibben,  farmer;  William  McKibben,  farmer;  David  McKibben,  farmer; 
Michael  Myer,  carpenter;  William  Moore,  distiller;  William  McGaw,  weaver;  Will- 
iam Montgomery,  farmer;  Samuel  Platcher,  farmer;  Samuel  Porter,  farmer;  Joab 
Packer,  farmer;  Nathan  Peeples,  farmer;  Samuel  Philips,  carpenter;  David  Philips, 
carpenter;  Thomas  Prion,  farmer;  Robert  Quay,  Joiner;  Widow  Quay,  farmer;  Mat- 
thias Richards,  Esq.,  farmer;  James  Reed,  farmer;  Caspar  Richards,  distiller;  W^ill- 
iam  Reed,  farmer;  Robert  Richey,  farmer;  Alexander  Robinson,  farmer;  John 
Spangler,  farmer;  John  Shields,  tailor;  Theodoras  Scowdan,  farmer;  Jacob  Swine- 
hart,  farmer;  Henry  Stoner,  farmer;  Archibald  Stewart,  farmer;  John  Stevenson, 
schoolmaster;  Thomas  Seamers,  farmer;  Andrew  Smith,  farmer;  William  Thompson, 
farmer;  Robert  Thompson,  millwright;  William  Templeton,  farmer;  Peter  Vincent, 
farmer;  Joab  Vancourt.  shoemaker;  Samuel  Wilson,  distiller;  Henry  Weaver,  farmer; 
Amos  Williams,  farmer;  Edward  Williams,  farmer;  William  Watson,  farmer;  David 
Watson,  farmer;  John  Watson,  farmer;  Ellis  Williams,  farmer;  David  Wilson, 
farmer:  John  Yost,  farmer;  George  Yost,  farmer.     Total,  127. 

At  the  time  this  enumeration  was  made  a  bill  was  pending  in  the  Assembly  for 
the  erection  of  a  new  county  out  of  parts  of  Lycoming,  Mifflin,  Northumberland,  and 
Huntingdon,  to  be  called  Centre.  It  passed,  February  13,  1800,  and  largely  ab- 
sorbed Lower  Bald  Eagle,  leaving  only  the  following  out  of  the  foregoing  list  in 
Lycoming  county: 

John  Beans,  Samuel  Bodle,  Robert  Black,  James  Carskaddon,  Griffith  Carr,  Mark 
Caldwell,  George  Carr,  Leonard  Doctor,  John  Fleming,  Esq.,  Joseph  Hunt,  Sr., 
Joseph  Hunt,  Jr.,  Jesse  Hunt,  James  Hindman,  Adam  Longe,  Alexander  Lindsay, 
David  Lusk,  John  Laughery,  William  Martin,  Samuel  Porter,  Samuel  Philips, 
David  Philips,  Thomas  Prion,  Matthias  Richards,  Robert  Richey,  Henry  Stoner, 
Andrew  Smith,  Robert  Thompson,  Joab  Vancourt,  Samuel  Wilson,  David  Wilson, 
George  Yost,  Jacob  Yost.  The  census  of  Lower  Bald  Eagle  for  1800  showed  663 
white  inhabitants,  thirty-foTor  colored,  and  one  slave,  making  a  total  of  698.  This 
was  the  first  slice  taken  from  the  immense  territory  of  Lycoming. 

Tioga.  — In  the  meantime,  however,  a  new  township  (now  in  Tioga  county)  had 
been  erected  by  the  court  of  Lycoming  and  called  Tioga.  It  embraced  a  great  ter- 
ritory which  was  largely  a  wilderness.  It  appears  in  the  enumeration  as  follows: 
Elisha  Alderman,  farmer,  50;  Ephraim  Alderman,  farmer,  44;  John  Allenton,  farmer, 
24;  Isaac  Adams,  farmer,  55;  Rufus  Adams,  farmer,  24;  Merwin  Ammisey,  farmer, 
22;  Moses  Ammison,  farmer,  50;  Ralph  Brevear,  farmer,  25;  Dormon  Bloss,  mill- 
wright, 29;  Lewis  Bigelow,  farmer,  88;  Pems  Bodwell,  cooper,  33;  Samuel  Bartlet, 



farmer,  38;  Jonathan  Barney,  farmer,  25;  Joseph  Bidings,  farmer,  25;  William 
Buckley,  farmer,  40;  Abner  Blanchard,  cooper,  63;  Charles  Blanchard,  farmer,  32; 
Ezekiel  Blanchard,  farmer,  23;  Abner  Blanchard,  farmer,  21;  William  Burlingame, 
farmer,  56;  John  Bobster,  farmer,  50;  Peggy  Borcher,  widow,  31;  Thomas  Berry, 
innkeeper;  Hopsteas  Beecher,  farmer,  24;  Ammesey  Culver,  farmer,  25;  Calvin 
Chambers,  farmer,  27;  William  Campbell,  farmer,  23;  Benjamin  Chambers,  40; 
David  Chambers,  farmer,  24;  Reuben  Cook,  farmer,  51;  Charles  Cloger,  farmer,  44; 
Lemuel  Gaylord,  farmer,  35,  Aaron  Gillet,  innkeeper,  34;  John  Goodline,  21;  Jon- 
athan Guisel,  farmer,  30;  John  Griggs,  farmer,  50;  Stephen  Gardner,  farmer,  30; 
John  Gardner,  farmer,  35 ;  George  Goodhue,  tailor,  57 ;  Josiah  Hovey,  innkeeper, 
52;  Simeon  Hovey,  carpenter,  24;  Girdin  Hovey,  carpenter,  22;  William  Holden, 
farmer,  28;  Stephen  Harrison,  farmer,  48;  Gideon  Haines,  joiner,  28;  John  Hulings, 
shoemaker,  27;  Daniel  Holeday,  farmer,  21;  Titus  Ives,  innkeeper,  33;  John  Ives, 
Jr.,  farmer,  26;  John  Ives,  Sr.,  farmer,  55;  Benijah  Ives,  farmer,  29;  Benjamin 
Ives,  farmer,  45;  Timothy  Ives,  farmer,  33;  Ambrose  Ives,  farmer,  63;  Obadiah 
Immser,  farnier,  36;  Daniel  Ingersole,  farmer,  60;  James  Jennings,  farmer,  27; 
Philip  Job,  farmer,  24;  Subil  Johnston,  joiner,  30;  Daniel  Jordan,  farmer,  35; 
Barret  Ingersole,  farmer,  22;  John  Jervis,  farmer,  21;  Joseph  Kelly,  farmer,  28; 
David  Kennedy,  farmer,  50;  William  Kennedy,  farmer,  25;  Peter  Keydy,  farmer, 
23;  Elijah  Keydy,  farmer,  52;  Philip  Keydy,  farmer,    26;  William  Knox,  farmer, 

30;  Kingsby,   carpenter,    40;  Zebulon    Keydy,    farmer,   46;  John    Keydy, 

farmer,  25;  Manasseh  Keydy,  farmer,  69;  Abel  Keydy,  farmer  25;  James  Kinyon, 
farmer,  72;  Benjamin  Kinyon,  farmer,  26;  John  Kinyon,  farmer,  28;  Jacob  Kape- 
heart,  farmer,  52;  Gad  Lamb,  farmer,  55;  Jerry  Locy,  farmer,  35;  Stephen  Locy, 
farmer,  30;  Stephen  Lane,  farmer,  54;  Joseph  Lane,  farmer,  23;  Richard  Mitchel, 
farmer,  30;  Garret  Miller,  farmer;  42;  Samuel  Miller,  farmer,  22;  Elisha  Meavin, 
farmer,  28;  Thomas  Mitchel,  smith,  29;  Robert  Mitchel,  farmer,  24;  Samuel  Needham, 
farmer,  28;  Nathan  Niles,  farmer,  44;  John  Newal,  farmer,  35;  William  Penrose, 
farmer,  35;  Job  Philips,  farmer,  59;  Daniel  Philips,  farmer,  31;  Samuel  Palmer, 
53;  Leymond  Pritchard,  farmer,  26;  Reuben  Pribble,  farmer,  27;  George  Pike, 
farmer,  37;  Stephen  Randle,  farmer,  30;  Jacob  Reep,  farmer,  38;  Jacob  Radley, 
farmer,  40;  William  Rothman,  farmer,  24;  Royal  Southworth,  joiner,  24;  Uriah 
Spencer,  farmer,  30;  Ebenezer  Seleih,  farmer,  45;  Job  Stiles,  farmer,  40;  Titus 
Sesse,  farmer,  40;  Stephen  Smith,  farmer,  23;  Daniel  Straight,  farmer.  39;  Chris- 
topher Scoonover,  farmer,  43;  Jacob  Server,  farmer,  48;  Stephen  Socket,  farmer, 
28;  Daniel  Thompson,  farmer,  49;  Christopher  Thompson,  farmer,  26;  James  Van- 
camp,  farmer,  60;  John  Vanoamp,  farmer,  24;  Samuel  Wilcox,  farmer,  23;  Ezekiel 
Webster,  farmer,  24;  John  Wilson,  farmer,  25;  Thomas  Wilson,  farmer,  26;  Elisha 
White,  farmer,  52.     Total,  122. 


In  connection  with  the  foregoing  enumeration  is  the  following  table,  showing  the 
colored  inhabitants,  slave  and  free,  in  the  county,  which  was  taken  in  pursuance  of 
the  act  of  March  7,  1800: 








George  Smoke,  mulatto 


free  man 












Joseph,  negro 

Bose  Lawson 


Liberty  Jordan 

free  man 





Pine   Creek 





Bald    Eagle 


free  woman 





May  Jones 


Josepli  Head 

free  man 



Jack  Latiet 






Nine  males  and  eleven  females.     By  the  census  of  1800  Lycoming  county  *ad  a  population 
of  5,414.    Northumberland,  the  mother  county,  had  27,796. 


By  act  of  February  26,  1801,  the  following  changes  in  three  of  the  election 
districts  of  the  county  were  made : 

That  those  parts  of  Muncy  township  on  the  west  of  a  line  to  begin  at  the  mouth  of  Work- 
man's run;  thence  a  due  north  course  to  the  county  line,  shall  be  annexed  to  the  First  election 
district,  and  the  electors  thereof  shall  hold  their  elections  at  the  court  house  in  Williamsport. 
That  the  residue  of  the  electors  of  Muncy  township  and  those  townships  composing  the  Second 
election  district  shall  hold  their  elections  at  the  house  now  occupied  by  Jacob  Merril,  in  the 
town  of  Pennsboro,  in  Muncy  Creek  township.  That  those  parts  of  Bald  Eagle  township  in- 
cluded within  the  bounds  of  said  county  shall  be  annexed  to  the  Fourth  election  district,  and 
the  electors  thereof  shall  hbld  their  elections  at  the  house  lately  occupied  by  Hugh  Andrews, 
in  the  town  of  Dunnsburg. 


Prothonotaries. — In  Lycoming  county  one  person  is  elected  to  the  office  of 
prothonotary  of  the  court  of  common  pleas,  clerk  of  the  court  of  quarter  sessions, 
and  clerk  of  oyer  and  terminer  and  general  jail  delivery  every  three  years.  Under 
the  Constitution  of  1790  the  incumbent  was  appointed  by  the  Governor,  and  con- 
tinued under  that  rule  till  the  office  became  elective  by  the  amendments  of  1837-38. 
Under  these  changes  the  succession  of  prothonotaries,  with  the  dates  of  their  ap- 
pointments and  elections,  has  been  as  follows:  John  Kidd,  April  14,  1795;  EUis 
Walton,  February  28,  1809;  John  Burrows,  September  14,  1813;  Thomas  Hays, 
February  17,  1818;  Philip  Krebs,  March  8,  1821;  Tunison  Coryell,  January  17, 
1824;  Joseph  Wood,  January  29,  1830;  Joseph  K.  Fredericks,  January  18,  1836; 
Herman  C.  Piatt,  October  8,  1839;  Hepburn  McClure,  October  11,  1842;  Lewis 
Martin,  October  14,  1845,  re-elected,  October  10,  1848;  Joseph  M.  Green,  October 
14,  1851;  George  F.  Boal,  October  10,  1854  (Mr.  Boal  died,  January  18,  1856,  and 
Robert  Hawley,  Esq.,  was  appointed  by  Governor  Pollock,  January  24,  1856,  to  fill 
out  his  unexpired  term.);  Huston  Hepburn,  October  9,   1856;  Jacob  S.   Eunyan, 


October  11,  1859;  Charles  D.  Eldred,  October  14,  1862;  N.  B.  Kimble,  October  10, 
1865;  H.  H.  Martin,  October  13,  1868;  Theodore  Hill,  October  10,  1871;  (The 
amendment  to  the  Constitution  by  the  convention  of  1872-73  abolished  the  October 
election  and  made  every  State  and  county  officer  elective  in  November. )  H.  H. 
Blair,  November  3,  1874;  William  Follmer,  November  6,  1877,  re-elected,  Novem- 
ber 2,  1880;  Daniel  Steck,  November  6,  1883;  John  L.  Guinter,  November  2,  1886, 
re-elected,  November  5,  1889. 

John  Kidd,  the  first  prothonotary,  etc.,  whose  beautiful  handwriting  is  still  so 
much  admired  on  the  books  of  record  opened  by  him  ninety-six  years  ago,  was  of 
Scotch-Irish  origin,  but  the  time  and  place  of  his  birth  are  unknown.  He  was  resid- 
ing at  Northumberland  when  Governor  Mifflin  appointed  him  prothonotary  of 
Lycoming  county.  And  although  his  penmanship  and  clerical  qualifications  would 
indicate  that  he  was  a  teacher  and  bookkeeper,  he  was  a  lawyer  by  profession,  for 
the  records  at  Sunbury  show  that  he  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  August,  1791.  He 
was  well  qualified  to  till  the  various  offices  to  which  he  was  appointed  and  made 
himself  popular  with  the  public.  He  was  accomplished  in  his  manners,  of  fine 
presence,  possessed  some  literary  taste,  and  was  the  author  of  several  poems  which 
were  regarded  as  meritorious,  but  they  have  long  since  perished.  On  account  of  his 
social  qualities  and  mirthfulness,  his  company  was  much  sought  after.  In  his  dress 
he  was  neat,  wore  a  ruffled  shirt,  and  had  his  hair  done  up  in  a  queue.  But  with 
all  his  accomplishments,  he  became  negligent  in  his  work  and  allowed  it  to  fall 
behind,  which  caused  much  annoyance  to  those  who  had  business  in  his  offices. 
Dissipation  was  the  cause  of  his  downfall.  After  the  election  of  Govei-nor  Snyder 
he  was  an  applicant  for  re-appointment,  but  his  habits  had  become  such  that  he  was 
unfitted  for  the  office,  and  the  Governor  appointed  Ellis  Walton,  of  Muncy.  He 
found  that  the  work  was  so  far  behind  that  he  was  compelled  to  employ  an  assistant 
to  bring  it  up,  and  two  or  three  years  elapsed  before  it  was  done.  A  great  many 
deeds  had  been  filed  for  record  and  the  fees  paid,  but  they  lay  there  unattended 
to.  It  was  this  neglect  which  caused  so  much  complaint.  On  account  of  his  per- 
sonal popularity,  the  refusal  of  the  Governor  to  reappoint  him  caused  much 
indignation  among  his  friends,  who  were  numerous.  The  Governor  admitted  his 
superior  qualifications,  but  his  neglect  of  duty  and  dissipation  could  not  be  tolerated 
in  such  a  responsible  office.  Kidd  died,  April  9,  1813,  and  was  buried  in  the  Harris 
graveyard  at  Loyalsock.  He  had  held  office  from  April  14,  1795,  to  February  28, 
1809,  a  period  of  nearly  fourteen  years.  His  neglect  of  duty,  especially  in  keeping 
the  court  records,  has  been  felt  more  than  once  by  those  who  have  had  occasion  to 
examine  them. 

Although  John  Kidd  was  reputed  a  bachelor,  he  had  a  daughter  named 
Rosanna,  who  was  reared  by  William  Harris.  She  was  born  about  1787,  married 
Samuel  Shoemaker,  March  29,  1810,  at  the  age  of  twenty-three,  and  died,  January 
19,  1842,  at  Muncy. 

Ellis  Walton,  the  second  prothonotary  of  Lycoming  county,  was  born  on  the 
farm  of  his  father  at  the  mouth  of  Glade  run,  Muncy,  September  21,  1771,  and  died 
in  office,  November  9,  1813.  On  attaining  his  majority  he  studied  law  with  Charles 
Huston,  and  afterwards  married  his  sister  Jane.  At  his  death  he  left  three 
daughters  and  one  son.     His  eldest  daughter,  Martha  L.,    was  remarkably  bright 


and  intelligent,  and  at  the  age   of  eight  years  went  into  the  prothonotary's  office 
with  her  father  and  assisted  him  in  recording  deeds. 

Sheriffs. — Sheriffs  are  elected  and  serve  three  years.  When  Lycoming  county  was 
erected,  John  Brady,  fourth  son  of  Capt.  John  Brady,  was  sheriff  of  Northumberland 
county,  and  exercised  authority  over  the  territory  of  which  the  new  county  was  com- 
posed. Samuel  Stewart,  Lycoming  county's  first  sheriff,  was  elected  October  26,  1795. 
The  date  of  the  election  of  his  successors  down  to  1889  is  as  follows:  John  Cummings, 
October  24,  1798;  Samuel  Stewart  (second  term),  October  27,  1801;  John  Cummings 
(second  term),  October  26,  1804;  John  Hays,  October,  1807;  John  Cummings 
(third  term),  October,  1810;  Arthur  McKissic,  October  26,  1813;  John  Cummings 
(fourth  term),  October  18,  1816;  David  McMieken,  October  22,  1819;  Thomas  Hays,. 
October  21,  1822;  James  Winters,  October  22,  1825;  Thomas  Hall,  October  28, 
1828;  James  Winters  (second  term),  October  21,  1831;  William  Harris,  October  20, 
1834  (Mr.  Harris  died  in  1835,  when  Charles  Low,  coroner,  took  charge  of  the 
office  and  served  out  the  year. ) ;  Thomas  W.  Lloyd,  October,  1836 ;  John  Bennett, 
October  18,  1838;  Hugh  Donley,  Jr.,  October  12,  1841;  William  Kiddell,  October 
8,  1844;  John  Bennett  (second  term),  October  12,  1847;  John  B.  Beck,  October  8, 
1850;  Abraham  Bubb,  October  11,  1853;  Daniel  S.  Rissell,  October  14,  1856.^ 
Frederick  Shale,  October  11,  1859;  John  B.  McMieken,  October  14,  1862;  Robert 
McCormick,  October  10,  1865;  John  Piatt,  October  13,  1868;  Samuel  Van  Buskirk,. 
October  10,  1871;  (The  constitutional  amendment  of  1872-73  changed  the  time  of 
holding  the  election  for  sheriffs  to  November. )  Thomas  Mahaffey,  November  3, 
1874;  John  S.  Bastian,  November  6,  1877;  Samuel  Wilson,  November  2,  1880^ 
W.  E.  Sprague,  November  6,  1883;  J.  M.  Wolf,  November  2,  1886;  Edward  W. 
Michael,  November  5,  1889. 

Coroners. — Coroners  stand  next  to  the  sheriff  in  their  official  relation,  and  in 
case  of  accident,  death,  or  any  calamity  which  may  incapacitate  him,  take  charge 
of  the  office  and  conduct  it  until  the  next  regular  election;  and,  like  the  sheriff, 
they  are  chosen  to  serve  three  years.  It  does  not  appear  from  the  records  that 
Lycoming  county  had  a  regularly  elected  coroner  for  the  first  three  years  of  its 
existence,  the  functions  of  that  officer,  when  required,  being  performed  by  a  justice. 
The  record  shows  the  following  line  of  coroners  and  the  date  of  their  election  to  the 
present  time:  Henry  Dougherty,  October  24,  1798;  John  Carothers,  October  27, 
1801;  John  Brooks,  October  26,  1804;  Apollos  Woodward,  October  26,  1807^ 
William  Mehaffey,  October  21,  1810;  Moses  Rush,  October  26,  1813;  Leonard 
Pfouts,  October  17,  1816;  Abraham  Tallman,  October  22,  1819;  James  R.  Hughes, 
October  21,  1822;  James  Watson,  October  22,  1825;  Peter  Dimm,  October  28.  1828; 
Joseph  S.  Titus,  October  25,  1831;  Charles  Low,  October  19,  1834;  Samuel 
Carothers,  October  20,  1837;  John  G.  Ephlin,  October  13,  1840;  John  Swartz, 
October  10,  1843;  David  H.  Goodwin,  October  13,  1846;  Jacob  Wise,  October  12, 
1847;  David  Billman,  October  8,  1850;  Moses  Bower,  October  11,  1853;  James 
Hall,  October  14,  1856:  Dr.  George  W.  Wood,  October  11,  1859;  Joseph  W.  Keys, 
October  9,  1862;  A.  M.  Hughes,  October  11,  1865;  Peter  Biehl,  October  13,  1868; 
Hermann.  Smith,  October  12,  1869;  Dr.  William  Goehrig,  October  8,  1872;  (the 
constitutional  amendment  of  1872-73  changed  the  time  for  electing  this  officer  to 
November.)     Dr.    Horace     G.    McCormick,     November    2,    1875;     William    Eves, 


November  5,  1878;  Dr.  George  G.  Saeger,  November  8,  1881;  Daniel  C. 
Flannagau,  Xovember  4,  lSS-4;  Dr.  G.  Frank  Bell,  November  10,  1887,  re-elected 
November  i,  1890. 

Early  Inquests. — Deaths  by  accidents  and  other  causes  were  quite  frequent  in 
early  times.  The  first  work  for  the  coroner  of  which  we  have  any  account  .was  an 
inquest  held  on  the  body  of  John  Harris,  who  was  drowned  in  the  river,  August  18, 
1798.  Patrick  Goodman  was  killed,  November  1,  1799,  by  being  run  over  by  an 
ox  team  on  the  road  near  Henry  Thomas's  mill,  on  Larry's  creek.  John  King 
testified  to  finding  him  lying  dead  in  the  road.  Henry  Dougherty  held  the  inquest. 
On  the  17th  of  June,  1801,  David  Kinney,  of  Washington  township,  was  drowned 
while  trying  to  swim  the  river.  December  22,  1804,  David  Thomas  was  found  lying 
dead  on  the  State  road,  about  foui'  miles  above  James  Eookens's.  It  was  brought 
out  at  the  inquest  that  " '  he  walked  to  the  place  where  he  was  found,  having  staid 
the  night  before  at  the  house  of  Norris.  He  lay  down,  placed  a  handkerchief  under 
his  head,  and  perished  by  severe  cold."'  May  23,  1805,  Charles  Koyles  was  drowned 
in  attempting  to  cross  Pine  creek  with  a  four  horse  team.  The  two  rear  horses  were 
also  drowned.  An  affidavit  as  to  the  circumstance  was  made  by  Nathaniel  Calder 
before  James  Davidson,  "  one  of  the  judges  of  the  court  of  common  pleas."  Thomas 
Forster  was  foreman  of  the  jury.  Edward  Pidcock  was  killed  while  felling  a  tree 
February  20,  1805,  and  John  Brooks,  coroner,  held  an  inquest  at  the  house  of 
Thomas  Hulings.  An  inquest  was  held,  November  12,  1807,  by  Apollos  Woodward, 
coroner,  at  the  house  of  John  Stone,  Newberry,  on  the  body  of  James  LafFerty,  who 
was  "killed  by  a  tree  falling  on  him."  The  cost  of  the  inquest  was  S10.06. 
September  16,  1808,  an  inquest  was  held  on  the  body  of  Deority  Pearson,  of  Nip- 
penose  township;  verdict,  "  came  to  her  death  by  the  abuse  and  ill  treatment  of  her 
husband."  On  the  28th  of  August,  1805,  Henry  Dougherty  fell  out  of  a  canoe  and 
was  drowned,  and  John  Brooks  held  the  inqirest.  January  25,  1846,  Enoch  T. 
Smith  hanged  himself  in  the  jail  with  a  saddle  girth.  On  the  2d  of  December, 
1848,  Timothy  McDonough,  of  Cascade  township,  committed  suicide  by  cutting  off 
iiis  tongue  with  a  razor  "while  in  a  state  of  insanity."  The  bill  for  holding  the 
inquest  was  §51.62|;  two  physicians  having  been  employed  at  §15  each. 
There  being  some  trouble  about  collecting  the  bill,  the  question  was  submitted  to 
Judge  Anthony,  who  ordered  it  paid,  "  as  there  was  reasonable  cause  for  holding  the 
inquest. " 

Treasurers. — The  custodian  of  the  county  funds  was  appointed  by  the  com- 
missioners until  1841,  when  the  ofi&ce  became  elective.  John  Kidd  was  appointed 
treasurer,  December  15,  1795,  and  served  until  December  26,  1801,  when  he  was 
succeeded  by  Kobert  McClure.  In  1805  Samuel  Stewart,  ex-sherifF,  was  appointed 
and  served  one  year.  The  succession  has  been  as  follows:  A.  D.  Hepburn,  1806 
to  1808;  Thomas  Hays,  1808  to  1810;  James  WalUs,  1810  to  1814;  Jeremiah  Tall- 
man,  1814  to  1816;  Charles  Stewart,  1816  to  1818:  J.  H.  Huling,  1818  to  1820; 
ApoUos  Woodward,  1820  to  1822;  John  Vanderbelt,  1822  to  1824;  Matthew  Brown, 
1824  to  1826;  William  Harris,  1826  to  1828:  Thomas  W.  Lloyd,  1828  to  1830; 
Henry  D.  Ellis,  1830  to  1832;  James  Gamble,  1882  to  1834;  James  H.  Huling, 
1884  to  1836;  Oliver'Watson,  1836  to  1838.  Under  the  operation  of  the  new  law 
John  Sloan  was   elected,  October  13,  1840;  Samuel  C.  Williams,  October  10,  1843; 


George  W.  Lentz,  October  14,  1845;  Thomas  C.  Longan,  October  12,  1847;  Charles 
H.  Beeber,  October  9,  1S49:  John  Kinsey,  October  14,  1S51:  John  H.  Eothrock, 
October  11,  1853:  Robert  Baker,  October  9,  1855;  James  T.  Dawson,  October  13, 
1837;  Thomas  Waddle,  October  11,  1859;  Benjamin  Strawbridge,  October  8,  1861; 
George  S.  Eves,  October  13,  1863;  Lewis  Weigel,  October  10,  1865;  Abraham  Swartz, 
October  8,  1867;  W.H,  Hutson,  October  12, 1869;  Abram  L.  Crist,  October  10,  1871; 
Christopher  B.  Shale,  October  14,  1873;  (The  Constitution  of  1872-73  changed  the 
time  of  election  to  November,  and  the  term  to  three  years.)  Jacob  S.  Maxwell, 
November  2,  1875;  Nelson  E.  Keys,  November  5,  1878  (Mr.  Keys  died  whUe  in 
oifice  and  his  brother  William  was  appointed  to  serve  out  his  time.);  Michael  K. 
Swartz,  November  10,  ISSl;  Harvey  S.  Whitehead.  November  4,  1884;  Jerome  B. 
Lundy,  November  10,  1887;  J.  Heileman,  November  4,  1890. 

Register  and  Recorder. — In  the  beginning  there  was  some  carelessness  shown 
by  John  Kidd  in  keeping  the  records  of  this  oiSce,  and  it  was  found  to  be  in  con- 
fusion when  he  retired  in  1809.  Ellis  Walton  succeeded  him,  and  died  in  office  in 
1813.  John  Burrows  was  appointed  his  successor  September  14,  1813.  His 
successors  have  been  appointed  and  elected  in  the  following  order:  Tunisou 
Coryell,  February  17,  1818;  John  Foulke,  March  S,  1821:  Abraham  Taylor,  January 
17,1824,  re-appointed  February  17,1827;  John  Yanderbelt,  January  29,  1830,  re- 
appointed January  4,  1833;  Joseph  Griffins,  January,  1836,  reappointed  January  3, 
1S3S;  (^By  the  Constitution  of  1837-38  the  office  became  elective.)  EHas  P.  Young- 
man,  October  8,  1839;  Joseph  W.  Smith,  October  11,  1842;  Joseph  F.  Torbert, 
October  14,  1845;  Jacob  Eodearmel,  October  10,  1848;  Jacob  S.  Eunyan,  October 
14,  1851;  George  A.  Cramer,  October  10,  1854;  Michael  Sechler,  October  13,  1857; 
Theodore  Hill,  October  9, 1860;  H.  H.  Blair,  October  13,  1863;  John  W.  Eiddell, 
October  8,  1866;  John  F.  Stevenson,  October  12,  1869,  re-elected  October  8, 
1872;  (The  Constitution  of  1872-73  changed  the  time  of  election  to 
November.)  Frederick  Hess,  November  2,  1875;  Thomas  Johnston,  November  5, 
1878;  Eobert  Wood,  November  8,  1881;  George  W.  Gilmore,  November  4,  1884; 
W.  C.  King,   November  10,   1887;  C.   J.    Cummings,  November  4,  1890. 

County  Surveyors. — At  first  the  title  of  this  officer  was  deputy  surveyor,  and  he 
was  ajipointed  by  the  surveyor  general  until  1850,  when,  by  act  of  the  legislature,  the 
office  was  made  elective.  The  following  have  served  in  Lycoming  county:  1795, 
William  Ellis;  1797,  Henry  Donnel;  1799,  James  Hunter;  1805,  William  Ellis; 
1808,  WUliam  Cox  Ellis;  1809,  John  Batten:  1812,  William  Wilson;  1815,  David 
McMicken;  1820,  Jacob  Antes:  1824,  John  A.  Gamble;  1833.  David  Hanna;  1836, 
Eobert  Hamilton;  1839,  A.    H.   McHenry;  1845,    Francis  Eiddell;  1850,    William 

Piatt,  Sr.;  1853,  A.  H.  McHenry;   1856,  J.  W.  Heylmun;  1859,  -Kinsey;  1862, 

Johns.  Laird:  1878,  Merrick  Reeder ;  1881,  John"  S.  Laird:  1886,  E.  J.  Eldred, 
present  incumbent. 

County  Auditors. — By  act  of  1791  the  court  was  authorized  to  appoint  auditors 
annually.  As  near  as  can  be  ascertained  from  the  early  records  the  following  per- 
sons served  in  this  capacity:  For  1798,  1803-04,  Samuel  E.  Grier  and  Matthew 
Wilson;  1806-08,  Thomas  Caldwell,  Thomas  Martin,  and  Jacob  Shoemaker.  The 
office  was  made  elective  by  the  act  of  March  6,  1809,  in  which,  however,  the  court 
was  empowered  to  fill  any  vacancies  that  might  occur.   As  far  as  can  be  ascertained  the 


following  persons  served  after  this  law  took  effect :  1809,  Thomas  Martin,  William 
Wilson;  1810,  Samuel  E.  Grier,  Jeremiah  Tallman,  Samuel  Carpenter;  1811,  Sam- 
uel E.  Grier,  Robert  Foresman;  1812-13,  James  McMicken,  William  Williams,  Sam- 
uel Carpenter.  On  the  7th  of  February,  1814,  the  legislature  passed  an  act  extend- 
ing the  term  of  service  to  three  years;  the  person  receiving  the  highest  number  of 
votes  at  the  first  election  thereafter  was  to  serve  the  maximum  period;  the  person 
receiving  the  next  highest  number  two  years;  and  the  person  receiving 
the  next  highest  number  one  year;  while  one  was  to  be  elected  annually  thereafter. 
This  arrangement  was  continued  until  the  adoption  of  the  present  system  under  the 
Constitution  of  1872-73.  The  following  served  under  the  act  of  1814:  1814,  James 
McMicken,  Francis  Graham,  William  Watson;  1815,  no  change;  1816,  Francis  Gra- 
ham, Joseph  Whitacre;  1817,  Francis  Graham,  Joseph  Whitacre,  Jacob  Grafius; 
1818,  Jacob  Grafius,  S.  Donnel;  1819,  Jacob  Grafius,  Abraham  Taylor,  S.  Donnel; 
1820,  Abraham  Taylor,  Alexander  Mahen;  1821,  Abraham  Dayton,  Alexander 
Mahen,  Washington  Dunn;  1822,  Washington  Dunn,  James  Winters;  1823,  records 
missing;  1824,  Nathaniel  Hanna,  J.  K.  Torbert,  William  Piatt;  1825-28,  records 
missing;  1829,  James  McClintock,  Peter  Vanderbilt,  W.  R.  Power;  1830,  records 
missing;  1831,  Peter  Vanderbilt,  Robert  Taylor;  1832,  Robert  Taylor,  Charles 
Lowe;  1833,  Charles  Lowe,  John  Foresman;  1834-35,  records  missing;  1836,  Teter 
Beeber,  Elias  Youngman,  William  Sedam;  1837-39,  records  missing;  1840,  John 
Clark;  1841,  James  Henderson;  1842,  L.  Smeed;  1843,  Robert  Gibson;  1844,  J.  S. 
Goodell,  James  McClintock;  1845,  Henry  Robb;  1846,  Joseph  Keys;  1847,  Henry 
Wolf;  1848,  Thomas  Sillyman;  1849,  Samuel  McClintock;  1850,  Nehemiah  Ross; 
1851,  Elias  Michael;  1852,  Thomas  Bower;  1853,  John  Swartz,  John  Sloan;  1854, 
■B.  Morris  Ellis;  1855,  J.  W.  Cummings;  1856,  F.  N.  E:racht;  1857,  Lewis  S. 
Smith;  1858,  James  Williamson;  1859,  E.  S.  Lowe;  1860,  Hunter  Comly;  1861, 
David  S.  Green;  1862,  Teter  Beeber;  1863,  Thomas  Throp;  1864,  James  S.  Allen; 
1865,  Peter  Reeder;  1866,  Moses  Bower;  1867,  H.  H.  McNett;  1868,  M.  Kelly; 
1869,  Andi-ew  Hepburn;  1870,  William  Stewart;  1871,  William  Follmer;  1872, 
H.  H.  Hill;  1873,  D.  T.  Thomas.  The  Constitution  of  1872-73  provided  for  the 
election  of  three  county  auditors  to  serve  three  years,  beginning  with  1875.  Each 
party  votes  for  two  candidates,  and  the  three  out  of  the  four  having  the  largest 
number  of  votes  are  declared  elected.  By  this  method  the  minority  party  is  assured 
of  having  a  representative  on  the  board.  From  that  time  up  to  1890  the  following 
have  been  chosen:  1875,  William  Follmer,  Ezra  W.  Sweely,  Thomas  Lloyd;  1878, 
Henry  J.  Strieby,  Henry  F.  Winder,  Henry  J.  dinger;  1881,  J.  W.  Hays,  C.  F. 
Wheeland,  A.  Neimyer;  1884,  V.  W.  Quigel,  J.  Wise,  W.  W.  Achenbach;  1887, 
V.  W.  Quigel,  H.  H.  Hill,  Andrew  Madison;  1890,  E.  P.  Moon,  J.  T.  Greenaway, 
W.  T.  Sherman. 

Commissioners. — Commissioners  were  elected  annually  until  the  adoption  of  the 
Constitution  of  1872-73,  which  provided  for  the  triennial  election  of  the  entire  board, 
one  of  which  shall  belong  to  the  minority  party.  The  following  were  the  first  com- 
missioners, elected  on  the  second  Tuesday  of  October,  1795:  Thomas  Forster,  John 
Hanna,  and  James  Crawford.  After  this  year  one  member  retired  annually  and  a 
new  one  came  in.  The  succession  was  as  follows:  1796,  William  Wilson;  1797, 
Henry  Donnel;  1798,    Thomas  Forster;    1798,  James  McClure;   1799,  Samuel  Tor- 


bert;  1800,  Joha  Burrows;  1801,  James  Stewart;  1802,  John  Carothers;  1803, 
Thomas  Forster;  1804,  Charles  Stewart;  1805,  Samuel  Torbert;  1806,  William  Wat- 
son; 1807,  Henry  Donnel;  1808,  Ellis  Walton,  Samuel  Simmons,  and  John  Mc- 
Meens;  1809,  John  Piatt;  1810,  W.  M.  Martin;  1811,  W.  A.  Martin;  1812,  Thomas 
Nichols;  1813,  Benjamin  Warner;  1814:,  Anthony  Moore;  1815,  Abraham  Lawshe; 
1816,  Seely  Huling;  1817,  Hugh  Donnelly;  1818,  George  Bennett;  1819,  Henry 
Hughes;  1820,  Jacob  Beeber;  1821,  Samuel  Updegraff ;  1822,  Peter  Vanderbelt;  1823, 
James  Winter;  1824,  W.  S.  Montgomery;  1825,  Daniel  Fulmer;  1826,  Jacob 
Grafius;  1827,  Thomas  Hall;  1828,  W.  B.  Smith  (He  died  soon  after  election  and 
Oliver  Watson  was  appointed,  December  5,  1828,  to  serve  out  his  term.);  1829,  Ben- 
jamin Jones;  1830,  Benjamin  Harris;  1882,  Benjamin  McCarty;  1833,  John  Thomas; 
1834,  Eobert  Maffett  (He  died  in  office  and  James  Lowden  was  appointed  to  fill  out 
the  term.);  1834,  Andrew  Stewart;  1835,  J. . Montgomery ;  1836,  Charles  Hepburn; 
1837,  William  Eiddle;  1838,  John  Gortner;  1839,  Jacob  Kothrock;  1839,  Thomas 
Brown;  1840,  William  Smith;  1841,  Daniel  Strebeigh;  1842,  Henry  Clinger;  1843, 
JohnSteck;  1844,  John  Weisel;  1845,  E.  H.  Eussell;  1846,  Thomas  Wood;  1847, 
W.  Sedam;  1848,  William  Eiddle;  1849,  J.  B.  Jones;  1850,  H.  Hartman;  1851, 
Nathaniel  Blackwell;  1852,  Andrew  Eeeder;  1853,  Benjamin  S.  Lyon;  1854,  Thomas 
Gallahauer;  1855,  William  Henry;  1856,  J.  G.  Duitch;  1857,  Michael  Sypher;  1858, 
Thomas  Lloyd;  1859,  Samuel  Harris;  1860,  William  W.  Antes;  1861,  Peter  D. 
Beeber;  1862,  D.K.  Updegraff;  1863,  H.  M.  Wolf;  1864,  George  S.  Opp;  1865,  D. 
K.  Updegraff;  1866,  William  Eiddle;  1867,  Henry  Buck;  1868,  Charles  Edwards; 
1869,  Samuel  Sunderland;  1870,  William  Eves;  1871,  Benjamin  Harris;  1872,  Will- 
iam F.  Harlan;  1873,  Michael  Winegardner;  1874,  Saihuel  Maffet.  After  this  date 
the  new  Constitution  took  effect  and  a  full  board  of  three  members  was  elected  trien- 
nially  in  November,  instead  of  October,  thereafter  as  follows:  1875,  William  F. 
Harlan,  Samuel  Maffet,  Daniel  Steck;  1878,  McKinney  Smith,  Daniel  Corson,  Will- 
iam Ebner;  1881,Enoch  B.  Tomb,  Mathias  Kaupp,  G.  W.  Smith;  1884,  Frank  Ful- 
mer, John  S.  Williamson,  Joseph  M.  Lowe;  1887,  Abner  P.  Foresman,  William  S. 
Starr,  Thomas  J.  Strebeigh ;  1890,  John   E.    Bubb^  Peter  J.  Eiswert,  Henry  Moyer. 

The  clerk  to  the  county  commissioners  is  elected  by  the  board  annually.  The 
office  is  one  of  considerable  responsibility.  Owing  to  missing  records  it  is  impossi- 
ble to  give  a  complete  list  from  the  beginning,  but  as  far  as  they  will  permit  the 
names  are  given  herewith.  The  first  clerk  to  the  board  was  John  Kidd,  who  served 
until  1801,  when  Joseph  Foulke  was  appointed.  He  served  until  1806,  and  possibly 
longer.  Mordecai  Heylmuncame  next,  but  there  are  no  records  to  tell  how  long  he 
served;  it  is  only  known  that  the  succession  was  about  as  follows  for  a  number  of 
years :  Henry  Lenhart,  Eobert  Fleming,  Oliver  Watson,  Jacob  S.  Eimyan,  Charles 
Stewart,  and  Eobert  Pott.  Mr.  Pott  was  succeeded  by  Jacob  S.  Maxwell,  January  1, 
1850,  when  Nehemiah  Eoss  became  his  successor,  and  at  the  end  of  his  term  Maxwell 
succeeded  him.  The  latter  was  followed  by  Eobert  Bennett,  who,  after  three  years, 
ga»e  way  to  Maxwell  again.  He  then  held  the  ofl&ce  until  1876,  when  he  was 
succeeded  by  C.  B.  Shale.      His  successors  were:     1880,  H.  W.  Whitehead;  1883,  M. 

K.  Swartz;  1886,  Miller;  1889,  Simon  Yeager;  1891,  Daniel  Keeler,  present 


Mercantile  Appraisers. — This  ofiice  was  created  by  act  of   1850.     Prior  to  that 

7^    ^/^^o^ 


time  its  duties  were  performed  by  a  board  composed  of  the  commissioners  and  asso- 
ciate judges.  The  oifice  is  now  tilled  by  appoiutment  of  the  commissioners,  and  it 
is  among  their  last  acts  at  the  close  of  the  year.  The  records  show  the  following 
appointments:  1851,  J.  J.  Ayres;  1852,  Robert  Pott;  1853,  John  Hepburn;  1854, 
David  Fulton;  1856,  Thomas  Kahler;  1857,  James  M.  Cummings;